FANWOOD: Autism has been on the rise for the past few years, and in 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children – 1 in 49 in New Jersey. This means that more children are affected by autism than diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome – combined.
Behind all these statistics are real families, real individuals struggling each and every day. Older people with autism are struggling to find satisfying jobs where they can productively use their talents and abilities. Many children and adults with autism have extremely complicated medical and social challenges.
April is Autism Awareness month. Many events are being planned for later in the year to raise money and awareness and the organization “Autism Speaks” is at the forefront.
Dina Schwab is the Walk Events Director for Autism Speaks for Central New Jersey. “I would like everyone to have the opportunity to.meet the Robins of Fanwood. Each year, the Robins invite their friends, family and co-workers to walk with their team, “Union County Crusaders” at the North/Central NJ Walk Now for Autism Speaks. This year’s Walk will take place on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at Nomahegan Park in Cranford."
The Robins, who’s son was diagnosed at the age of 2, were not surprised when the new numbers were released. “It just made raising awareness to this ever-growing epidemic that much more important. We are very fortunate that our son, received exceptional services from the Union County Educational Services Commission. We have the fortune of having such an exceptional child in our lives. Anyone who is lucky enough to have a relationship with our son knows that he teaches us and has made our lives richer because of who he is.”
“Getting the diagnosis of autism fills you with so many different emotions and you don’t know if your life will ever be the same again. I’m here to tell you that it will not be the same. It will be different, and it will be better, if you let it. We walk to raise awareness, funds for research, and a better future for those struggling with autism. We walk for progress, for hope. We walk to support Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks has committed over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families like my own.”
For more information or to register for the Walk, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/ncnj or contact Dina Schwab at 609-228-7315.
Autism Speaks is the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, raising more than $28.5 million alone in 2011 in 85 cities across the U.S. and Canada to support autism research, awareness and advocacy. For more information about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.