Walk Now for Autism set for May 17

WARWOOD – The 10th annual Wheeling and Ohio Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will be held May 17 on the Warwood Trail, beginning at Warwood Elementary School.

Each Walk Now for Autism Speaks event offers a safe day of activities for families impacted by autism. The day includes a two- to three-mile walk and community resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations and creative child-friendly activities – a “one-stop shop” for families affected by autism.

“Our Walk Now for Autism Speaks continues to grow thanks to the generosity and support of so many people in our community,” said Co-Chair Erica Icenhower. “We are helping to advance science and awareness nationally, while also supporting the important work of service providers, researchers and clinicians in our community and communities across America. Once again, we are coming together to celebrate the joy our loved ones with autism bring to our lives, and to advance the effort to make life better for them and their families.”

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, drawing hundreds of thousands of participants in more than 100 cities across North America to support autism research, awareness and advocacy.

Proceeds supports awareness, research, family services and advocacy.

Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 88 children, including 1 in 54 boys, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. This represents a 78 percent increase in six years, only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors.

Toys ‘R Us and Babies ‘R Us are national sponsors. Toys ‘R Us is a corporate sponsor and, since 2007, has helped raise more than $18 million for Autism Speaks.

For information about the 2Ohio Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks, visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org or contact (412) 367-4571 or Richele.ward@autismspeaks.org.