Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), also generically referred to as autism, is a complex disorder that affects brain development in children, typically emerging when a child is anywhere from 18 months to three years old. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in every 70 children in America have some level of ASD, ten times as many as diagnosed just 40 years ago. A grass roots organization, Autism Speaks, is trying to understand both the disease and its causes, and to fund research for a cure…and you can help.
Autism Speaks sponsors walks across the country, with walkers soliciting pledges or donations. The money raised then goes toward research. A number of events are coming up in New York, New Jersey and across the country in the next few months:
- On Sunday, May 15, walkers will convene in Mount Laurel, New Jersey to raise money to combat ASD. To date, more than $27,000 has been pledged.
- A week later, Autism Speaks will host walkers in East Rutherford, New Jersey
- On Sunday, June 5, thousands will gather in White Plains, New York
- The New York City event is scheduled for Saturday, September 10. Organizers are putting together a transportation plan for pickups at a number of locations throughout the five boroughs.
- The Autism Speaks Walk along the Jersey Shore will take place in Long Branch on Saturday, September 24
- There are walks from coast to coast in the next few months, from Port St. Lucie, Florida to Indianapolis to San Jose and Houston. To learn more, go to the Autism Speaks Walk website.
Walkers are encouraged to wear light blue as a show of support for autism research. Anyone who raises $150 or more will receive a free commemorative tee shirt on the day of the walk.
Autism Speaks is a wonderful way to come together with friends and family to support a good cause. Why not build a weekend trip around the walk—and what better way to go than in the comfort and luxury of a party bus or limo.