SOURCE: Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter

Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter

May 17, 2013 13:06 ET

Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks Will Take Place at Soldier Field in Chicago This Weekend

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 17, 2013) - Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that the 10th annual Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on Saturday, May 18th at Soldier Field. The event is one of the major things to do in Chicago this weekend. All event proceeds will support Autism Speaks' work, both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about the growing autism health crisis, fund innovative autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in Chicago and beyond. 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.

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fundraising events for Autism Speaks, raising nearly $26 million nationwide in 2012 alone to support autism research, awareness and advocacy. Last year's Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted more than 15,000 walkers, 500 volunteers and raised over $1.5 million. It has become one of the premier fundraising Chicago events.

Funds raised through the Walk allow Autism Speaks to make a significant impact in the Chicagoland area. Autism Speaks science grants have supported research at the University of Chicago, UIC and Northwestern. Local agencies have received Autism Speaks' community grants to expand their work and build capacity. The chapter has also worked with Chicago Public Schools, introducing and training teachers and school personnel on the use of the Autism Speaks School Community Tool Kit.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a unique fundraising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism. The day includes a three-mile Walk and Resource Fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities -- a true "one-stop-shop" for families affected by autism. Our family-friendly event features our sponsor expo and one of a kind after party, complete with music, petting zoo and bounce houses.

For more information about the 2013 Chicago Walk Now for Autism Speaks, please visit http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/chicago or contact Dana Morris at 224.567.8573 or dana.morris@autismspeaks.org

About Autism
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 social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum -- a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. The organization is 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. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.

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