BABALU to Hold Pop Up Taco Shop in Support of Autism Awareness Month

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Eric Bartholomew, executive chef of BABALU Birmingham, recently welcomed five-year-old Asher Goudie for lunch at the Lakeview restaurant. BABALU will hold a pop-up taco shop on April 12 to raise money for Goudie, who has moderate autism spectrum disorder.

"I am extremely excited for Asher and his family to be chosen for such a great cause. This taco shop for Asher solidifies the reason why I joined this group of talented and giving group of owners and leaders."- Eric Bartholomew, Executive Chef

Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the United States. It affects one in 68 American children and can have profound effects on their ability to communicate. While there is no cure for autism, early intervention and treatment has shown to be very effective. However, out-of-pocket costs for treatment can range from $30 - $60K a year for many families.

In honor of Autism Awareness month, BABALU Birmingham will host Asher’s Taco Shop -- a pop-up restaurant -- on Tuesday, April 12. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Asher Goudie, a five-year-old Birmingham resident diagnosed with moderate autism spectrum disorder.

“Asher developed as a happy go lucky toddler until about 18 months of age,” explains Danielle Goudie, Asher’s mother. “I noticed his speech was lagging in comparison to his daycare classmates and he began acting aggressively towards his peers. In December 2013, nearly a year and a half since I began asking questions, Asher was diagnosed with moderate autism spectrum disorder. My heart sunk knowing the difficult challenge he would be faced with his entire life and the financial burden autism brings to families.”

Since his diagnosis, Asher has been enrolled in therapy at Mitchell’s Place and Puzzle Piece Therapy Center in Birmingham. Within two years, he has been able to make tremendous progress in his ability to communicate and how he transitions through his daily activities.

“Now five years old, Asher is a different child,” adds Goudie. “He uses 3-5 word sentences and is working hard at articulation. He can tell me about his day, comes up with ideas to play, he asks and answers questions, is learning how to transition better, and is steadily becoming socially involved with his peers. I am in awe of how far he’s come, he’s my little super hero!”

BABALU will donate $1 for every taco sold during Asher’s Taco Shop to help alleviate the cost of Asher’s therapy.

“Babalu is known for its creative and fresh take on Latin and Spanish cuisine. However, Babalu is also supportive of causes that are near and dear to the hearts of our guests,” said Bill Latham, President of Eat Here Brands, LLC, the holding company of BABALU. “With all the love and support Birmingham has already shown to Babalu, we have no doubt that they will continue to show the same love and support for Asher and his family.”

Located in Birmingham's Lakeview District, BABALU serves authentic, gourmet tacos and Spanish style tapas with a Southern twist. To learn more about BABALU Birmingham, visit their website.

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Mary Sanders Ferriss

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