A growing number of young children in the United States are being diagnosed with autism.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 15 percent increase in autism nationally in 2018. In the CDC report, 1 in 59 children had a diagnosis of autism.
Autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder, includes a range of conditions that are grouped based on challenges within social skills, speech, behavior and nonverbal communication.
During April, designated National Autism Awareness Month, organizations across the U.S. are hoping to highlight the condition, increase understanding and bring people closer together.
Autism Speaks U is a program that supports students, faculty and alumni in their awareness and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks.
Florida State University and Autism Speaks University joined forces to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder.
To shed light on autism locally, the Florida State University chapter of Autism Speaks hosted its annual celebration and walk Saturday.
The Tallahassee Autism Speaks Walk took place Friday at Langford Green on FSU’s campus.
The event included different organizations, food vendors, and games for children and parents.
This family friendly event was free to attend and raised funds benefiting Autism Speaks.
Through this event, the chapter planned to fundraise for research and advocacy for the disorder locally and nationally for Autism Speaks.
Jaylynn Pierre a second year nursing student at Florida State University, said:“Autism speaks is doing great things on the campus of FSU and throughout the city.”
Autism Speaks is an organization designed to enhance lives and spread awareness about the spectrum in hopes of finding solutions.
The FSU chapter is able to partner with local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and programs to highlight autism.
At the event, Tanya Crider, regional director of the Positive Behavior Supports Corporation, said that this was her first time being part of this event.
“It brings families together and lets them know they are not alone in the struggles that they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis with autism,” said Crider.
“They can access resources that are available to them that they did not know about before and it just lets them know that the community is here to support them and help them in any way they can.”
The FSU chapter of Autism Speaks hosts the celebration and walk each year and finds new ways to continue to make it special for parents and children.
If you’d like to learn more about Autism Speaks U Florida State University, please visit their website: