On Saturday, my team and I walked for the sixth year in a row to raise money and awareness for autism. We had 67 people turn out to walk in our kelly green shirts this year and I'm SO thankful to each and every one. It was a fun group!
We ended up having a GORGEOUS day to walk. Usually this time of year, we're still sweating profusely, but we started out walking at 7am and it was in the 80s! Yay!
My youngest nephew, Elijah is getting so big! He's 10 now and in years past, has ridden in a wagon for the walk. This year he walked the whole thing:
Our team was one of the teams who raised the most money this year:
My oldest nephew Noah and his cousin Joey:
We had some creative and enthusiastic walking this year:
One of our youngest team members and my sweet sister's family -- her two boys are the reasons we do this!
The course was littered with fun facts related to autism:
Since the walk took place in the zoo, we stopped often to admire the animals. Hamilton unashamedly sported his shirt dress:
What a fun day!
Our goal was to raise $6,000 and we achieved 73% of our goal -- raising a total of $4,400.
Thank you to each and every one of you who donated and helped us to do something great in the fight to find answers for the 1 in 88 children affected by autism!!! The proceeds we raised will go toward the local ASU research program. The ASU research program is doing some exciting studies that are revealing practical treatments that are being implemented to change childrens' lives NOW.
Here's a video of some coverage of the walk by one of our local news channels:
The number of children with autism continues to rise. At this point in history 1 in 88 children have autism.
Let that number sink in for a moment.
The rates are staggering. We must do something now to help find the cause and curb the effect of this disorder!!
This Saturday, October 6th, I will be walking with my team to help raise money to do just that. The proceeds we raise will go toward the local ASU research program. The ASU research program is doing some exciting studies that are revealing practical treatments that are being implemented to change childrens' lives NOW.
Please consider donating to help my team reach its goal of raising $6,000 toward this cause. So far, we've only raised $3,000, so we have a long way to go in a few short days! Even if you are only able to donate a few dollars, I would greatly appreciate it. You can donate here.
And if you are able to join our team on the day of the walk, we would love to have you! Everyone is welcome! The walk is short and kid-friendly. It ends in the Phoenix Zoo and if you participate in the walk, admission to the zoo is free for the day. You can sign up to join our team - WE LOVE NOAH & ELIJAH - here. You will then receive more info through email.
Thank you so much for reading this and for your support over the years! I really appreciate it!! I will blog on Monday about the walk and give you our final total raised. SO excited about how this money will make a difference in kids' lives.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and span 3 general areas:
-Social development and behavior
-Repetitive and odd behaviors
No two children with autism are alike. My nephew Elijah is more severe than his older brother, Noah. Elijah is 10 and is nonverbal and often gets frustrated with his inability to communicate his needs.
One last thing I wanted to share on autism--and if you're still reading at this point, you are awesome!--are some early signs of autism. These are important to know so that you can watch your own children and possibly help other parents out who you know. The earlier autism is detected the more successful treatment can be. Here are some "red flags" to be on the watch for:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
Remember that autism is very complex and mysterious at this time so no two children will display the exact same behaviors or symptoms. But these are some general things to look for.
So this will be my 6th annual Walk for Autism. And I plan to keep walking, sharing and raising money until the cause and cure is found. The walk is taking place in Phoenix on Saturday, October 6th. If you'd like to join us in the walk or if you are willing to make a contribution towards helping to find the cause and cure for autism, you can join here (it's so much fun & everyone is welcome!! Make sure to select our team -- We Love Noah & Elijah! -- in the drop down) or contribute here. If everyone who reads this blog donates just $10, we would being doing something HUGE. Please consider a small donation that will make a lasting difference in a HUGE undertaking.
Thanks so much for reading! I can't wait for the day when we will look back on this time in history with gratitude that we have beaten this awful disorder!
On Saturday, my team and I walked for the fifth year in a row to raise money and awareness for autism. I was completely blown away by the turn-out! We had 82 people wearing our kelly green shirts -- fully doubled the size of our team from last year's walk. Click here to see the 2010 team photo for comparison!
My heart is so full that all of these people showed up at 7 in the morning on a Saturday to walk in the heat! Two drove up the night before from Tucson, one walked with a cast on her leg and many families showed up with multiple kids in tow -- no small feat of organization!
I loved seeing the masses of green shirts walking together:
My friend and fellow photographer, Lizzie came out with her sister and two nephews. And Sara got a photo of me with my cute 11-year-old nephew Noah -- one of the two boys we walked in honor of!
And here is sweet 9-year-old Elijah:
We had some encouragement along the route:
And I love how the course was littered with fun facts related to autism:
The walk ended in the zoo and we were able to stop along the way to say hi to the animals:
I love how kid-friendly the walk is. This is the youngest member of our team -- little 5-week-old Noah. Hopefully he'll be doing some walking of his own on next year's course!
One-year-old Hamilton wore his dress/shirt proudly. And twenty-month-old Annie is a veteran -- she was one of the youngest members of last year's walk.
Our team was one of the teams who raised the most money this year:
Our goal was to raise $4,000 and once again, I didn't dream big enough. We ended up raising a total of $5,032.39!!! AMAZING!!
Thank you to each and every one of you who donated and helped us to do something great in the fight to find answers for the 1 in 110 children affected by autism!!! The proceeds we raised will go toward the Autism Research Institute - a national charity that conducts and sponsors practical research into the causes of autism and how to treat it, and toward the local ASU research program. The ASU research program is doing some exciting studies that are revealing practical treatments that are being implemented to change childrens' lives NOW.
If you didn't get a chance to participate this year -- it's not too late! You can still donate online here! And plan ahead to join us next year!
Tomorrow morning I will be meeting up with my team at 7am to walk for the fifth year in a row to raise money for autism research. Thank you SO much to those of you who have given generously! We are only $500 away from meeting our goal of raising $4,000! That's amazing and I'm thrilled at the prospect of what this money can do to help us in the fight to find answers for my two nephews and the other 1 out of 110 children affected by this disorder.
But I would be even MORE thrilled if we could walk knowing we had met our goal. If you haven't had the chance to donate yet, please consider doing so -- any donation small or large will make a difference! Click here to donate!
Thanks so much! I'll blog on Monday about the walk and give you our final total raised!