Once autism was thought to affect only 1 in 10,000 children. Now studies show that 1 in 68 children are now diagnosed with this disorder that affects families, schools, and the community at large. Despite the high proportions and higher health care costs associated, autism research, up until last year, received less than 5% of government funding compared to other childhood diseases.
Autism Speaks U is an organization that has been designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy, and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. Since its first event, Autism Speaks U events and student-organized walk teams all over the nation have raised over $7 million. Autism Speaks U at Florida State University became an official chapter of Autism Speaks U and Registered Student Organization at FSU in the spring of 2015.
Autism Speaks U at Florida State University will be hosting its first annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on Thursday, October 15th, on Langford Green at 6:30 PM. Walk Now for Autism Speaks is the foundation’s grassroots event. This event includes an autism community resource fair and a family friendly atmosphere that encourages family participation.
The lack of necessary scientific information and corresponding social stigmas surrounding the disorder are why we must walk: to promote awareness, fund research, support affected individuals, and encourage acceptance.
The walk itself is similar in nature to Relay for Life. Students, parents, professors, individuals on the spectrum, members of the FSU and Tallahassee community, and supporters of Autism gather to walk for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. Teams are created from various organizations to help fundraise the event. The money raised goes towards research funds and other areas of support so we can gain more knowledge about this disorder. The formation of teams is a fun way of helping raise money towards our fundraising goal of $20,000. Booths are given to teams that raised over $250, and they can decorate these booths as they wish. This is another fun way of encouraging fundraising. At the walk, there will be a DJ, bounce house, free food, games, and more.
Tables will be set up with different Autism affiliated organizations of the Tallahassee community to promote and encourage awareness of ASD.
Autism Speaks U would like to extend an invitation to you to participate in this event by registering as an individual or even registering a team for this walk. To go about doing this, follow this link:http://events.autismspeaksu.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1147903 and click the Register button. Registration is free as an individual and as a team. After registration, you or your team will be able to accept donations for Autism Speaks and will be able to participate in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event.
If participating is not something you are interested in we encourage you to kindly donate. Every dollar counts and will be dedicated to autism research.
Like our Facebook page: Autism Speaks U – Florida State University, Follow our Instagram and Twitter accounts: @ASU_FSU for updates about the walk and other upcoming on campus events.
CLAIRE SEEFRIED / Director of Media Relations for Autism Speaks U – FSU