April is autism awareness monthTo increase local awareness of autisum, a steering committee is planning a Walk for Autism Awareness event to be held in Alexandria on April 24, 2010.
To increase local awareness of autisum, a steering committee is planning a Walk for Autism Awareness event to be held in Alexandria on April 24, 2010.
Organizers envision a fun, family-friendly event filled with opportunities for people to learn more about autism while raising funds for needed education and programs in west central Minnesota.
Although the main purpose for the event is to raise awareness, teams and individuals who obtain pledges will compete for recognition and prizes based on the amounts they collect.
Any funds raised through this event will help benefit local children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Workshops and programs will inform and train individuals and family members in strategies leading to success at home, school and in the community. A portion will also be donated for autism research.
The committee is looking for people interested in helping to plan and organize the walk.
Individuals are needed for the teams that will be responsible for publicity, volunteers, registration, location/logistics, sponsors and the information fair.
Anyone interested in helping can go to the Web site www.WindmillProject.org and click on the events page or call (320) 763-9228.
Research indicates that genetics, environment or both contribute to the development of autism disorders.
Usually autism affects language, communication and social skills; behavior outbursts may be the result of unexpected changes and communication difficulties.
Individuals who have autism are unique, with their own strengths, interests and preferences.
Sensitivity to touch, lights and noises may lead to anxiety attacks and “meltdowns” at inconvenient times and places.
More research is needed to find successful treatments and ways to prevent or reduce the incidence and severity of autism.
Following are some other autism facts:
• Every 21 minutes, someone is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Statistics tell us that in the U.S., 1 in 150 people have been identified with autism.
• Autism affects approximately 67 million people worldwide.
• More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with diabetes, cancer and AIDS combined.
• Autism does not discriminate by geography, class or ethnicity.
• There is no medical detection or cure for autism.