Bangor’s Autism Walk Is This Weekend: Here’s How To Get Involved
Autism; it's something a lot of people may have heard of, but not too many people really know about.
According to the website, Autism Speaks:
"Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 36 children in the United States today."
It's something that's becoming more and more prevalent in families and communities across the world. As such, it's important to be able to connect individuals and families living with Autistic loved ones, with the information and services they need to thrive.
According to Jennifer Frey, Autism Information Coordinator with the Autism Society of Maine, April is Autism Awareness Month. This is why Autism Societies across the US choose April to host special Autism Walks, to raise both awareness about the issue and funds for programs that help those affected by it.
This Sunday, April 30th, Bangor will hold its Walk for Autism.
"The Bangor Walk for Autism is a family-friendly free event. People are welcome to register, create teams, and fundraise if they would like but it's not required. Anyone is welcome to come take part. Even if they don't do the walk there will be plenty of fun. We are going to have vendors, including More Than Just Engraving and Messology Maine. The Darlings Ice Cream for a Cause Truck will be there."
And Frey hopes to see many people come out to raise money, but also simply show support.
"This is a great opportunity to connect with the community and learn about different resources and just have fun. It's a great time and we love to see everyone come together to support their family members and friends, and just be themselves. "
Frey says the money raised from the Bangor's Walk for Autism will go to fund a number of services that are set up to help families and individuals living with Autism.
"The Autism Walks are our top fundraisers. The money donated gets put back into the community, we want individuals to receive services when they need them, and what they need, so they can live their life in their communities to the fullest. People will sometimes call us looking for guidance after a diagnosis because they want to know what they should do next. It's not just parents of kids either, we had a lot of adults calling seeking or getting a late diagnosis."
"We also do presentations throughout the State, including first responder's training and Autism and strategies. One presentation that has been popular this month is Kits for Kids. An AIS goes into schools and spends about 20 minutes telling a story and doing an activity with students to help educate them on Autism. We also have a free library for anyone in the State of Maine. Books can be requested online and mailed to you with postage to send them back."
If you would like to participate in Bangor's Walk for Autism, registration starts at 10:30 on the Bangor Waterfront, with the walk starting at noon. The walk is free for everyone to participate in.
You can also call the Autism Society's toll-free number at 1-800-273-5200, or log on to email@example.com.