One in 88 kids has autism, says the latest CDC report. And when you drill down to boys, it’s an even more alarming 1 in 54. That’s roughly double the rate measured in 1992 when the CDC first tracked the numbers, prompting some autism advocates to call it an epidemic.
As disturbing as those statistics may seem – and they are disturbing – the more important thing to me is that my son has autism. That’s as real as it needs to be. That’s why I talk (a lot) about the need to support autism research and awareness and about the need to support families dealing with autism. I’m especially passionate about the need to give hope to young families just receiving the dreaded diagnosis. It can be a helpless, lonely moment. Hope can be in short supply unless they can find the guidance and support that’s crucial for making it through the maze that is autism.
Today, though, I was able to do more than talk. I got to walk the walk.
The 4th annual Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism was held this morning on the beautiful campus of UNC Greensboro. At last look nearly $40 thousand in donations had been made through this event. Proceeds from this 5k event will support the Guilford County Chapter of the Autism Society of North Carolina, most notably for their teacher grant program which provides training and classroom materials. Proceeds also underwrite parent support and education meetings.
The weather was ideal, a sunny morning on the first day of fall in North Carolina. The exercise was much-needed. The stroll through a beautiful college campus was icing on the cake.
Yeah, my feet are sore as I write this, but I’ll get over it. The satisfaction of doing my small part to support something near and dear to my heart was priceless.
Profuse thanks to all who made this event a smashing success!
Were you there too, or have you done something similar? Don’t leave without sharing your experiences in the comments section.