Sunday, April 15, 2012

2012 Autism Speaks Walk: Thank You!

For the third year in a row, we were proud to show up and walk to raise money and awareness for Autism Speaks. Turn out was great and the weather was the best we'd had all week. We came to the Town Green at 10 (free parking, music, and a great resources/vendors -- already off to a good start) and stayed until 12:30, taking snack breaks at the picnic tables and checking in to the library for a sensory break (I also picked up information for growing vegetables from the Master Gardeners' talk).

We were exhausted by the afternoon, but so glad we went. This is such an important event for us and we're happy to be doing our part to find out more about autism and help those with it to live as healthy and actively as possible.

It also felt good to have this walk in our community, and see both the walk and the Town Green mesh so well. I do believe in the importance of having community support to help our kids -- all our kids- be as successful as possible. It also felt good to see all these families on the spectrum in turn supporting my home town by eating at the restaurants we love, staying in the local hotels, falling in love with the book store, and watching their kids on the playground. When there was an announcement that the local indie cafe was donating 10% of all sales from the day to the walkathon there was a big cheer, and I saw at least one group immediately head over to help boost business and fundraising.
View from playground hill, looking at the Green and Resource Fair
Walk route, as it passes the jumpy house
First lap!

Autism Speaks provides information and tools to parents and others who work with children on the Autism Spectrum. Autism Speaks provides a Voice to many who do not have one of their own. This organization keeps abreast of updates in research and politics, helping parents become better advocates for their children. Autism Speaks funds research to investigate causes of autism.

We walk because:
Last year, that sign read "every 20 minutes"
  • No one knows what causes autism.
  • The numbers of children affected keep growing; current CDC numbers are 1 in 88 children; 1 in 54 boys. Some areas have even higher rates of autism.
  • People still don't know about autism. I personally have been asked about autism (and resources regarding autism) over the past 2 months by people who include staff at our local schools, my son's pediatrician in our HMO, and family members.
  • Our son has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We want the best for him and hope that some day he will be able to live an independent life of his own choosing.

To all of you who helped us raise money for this walk, thank you so very much! We reached our personal fundraising goal because of you. At the walk, we were told that every dollar raised here turns into $10 worth of research, through matching grants and Autism Speaks. This means so much to us -- doing something positive to find answers and solutions for those we love.


Ellen Stumbo said...

Stopped by from the UBP. I did not find your post for it so I thought I would comment here instead. I do not have kids with autism but I have 2 girls with special needs.
Come visit us and say hi :)

SoCo mom said...

Hi, Ellen - thanks for stopping by! I didn't see that the Blog Party had a Special Needs category until Thursday and kind of had to go with what I'd already posted.

Between the walkathon thank you post and my About snippet you'll find out a lot about my background and where I am now with my family.

Thank you so much for stopping by!