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Ernie Els’ world was turned upside down when he found out his son was autistic. But he is using his fame and influence to lend a voice to those who can’t. “We are actually having a tournament at the end of the year in South Africa to raise money for autism,” the Big Easy said. “We are doing one in March next year, March 23, in Florida, for Autism Speaks.”
Its Els way of drawing attention to brain developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. “We are doing those two golf tournaments, and I'm going to do some ad work, just to get the word out, especially for young families. There's quite a problem in the world, kids are affected by this more and more now. It's 1 in 150 kids that will be born with an autism disorder. It quite a big problem and it makes quite a change in your life and lifestyle,” Els said. “ I was never really aware of it until it happened. It can catch you by surprise and you just need to be a bit more aware and maybe more prepared if it happens.”