As a statewide agency whose mission is to create better lives for people with autism, Autism Delaware is expanding to provide the range of services needed by all Delawareans living with autism spectrum disorders over their lifespans. To this end, the nonprofit agency relies on volunteers, donations and fundraising.
“Our next big fundraiser in southern Delaware is Walk for Autism on April 20 at Cape Henlopen State Park,” says Lisa Albany, the committee chair. “Our goal is to raise as much as possible to provide services through Autism Delaware that benefit individuals with autism spectrum disorders. We need volunteers to help run the event, plus business and corporate leaders to sponsor it.”
“The need for autism services and support is rising rapidly,” adds Autism Delaware Executive Director Teresa Avery. “The CDC now says that one in 88 children is identified with an autism spectrum disorder. In 1991, the Delaware Department of Education reported 152 public school students with autism - and 982 in 2010! That’s a 546 percent increase over 19 years.
“Families affected by autism can need a wide range of services,” said Avery, “everything from clinical to employment and residential services, not to mention family support and information. Granted, we’re not going to get it all done this year, but we need to continue to grow to meet the growing need. Our goal for the Walk for Autism this year is to raise $200,000.”
For more information, go to autismdelaware.org.