About the Walk
Autism Speaks Walk is the worlds largest autism fundraising event dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism. Powered by the love of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives, and supporters, the funds raised help ensure people of all abilities have access to the tools needed to lead their best lives.
The commitment of individuals like you plays a critical role in raising the funding needed to fuel innovative research and lifelong supports and services. Working together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Please register and fundraise for an Autism Speaks Walk near you.
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 59 children in the United States today.
We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.
Sometimes the environment at an Autism Speaks Walk can become overwhelming for people with sensory sensitivities. All of our walks allow access to a quiet space that can be used as a safe outlet if you or your loved one living with autism becomes overwhelmed. We recommend finding the quiet area of your walk when you arrive and share its location with your team for ease of access later on in the day should it be needed.
Volunteers are the backbone of Autism Speaks Walks. These events would not be possible without their dedication and support. We are grateful for their time and talent that helps reduce costs and dedicate more funds to our mission. Autism Speaks Walk volunteers can help in many ways assist in set-up and/or clean-up, greet participants as they arrive or cheer our walkers on at mid-point water stops. You can even recruit your friends, family and coworkers to form a volunteer team!
Volunteer as a Team
Recruit your friends, family and coworkers to form a volunteer team. We'll do our best to assign you to the same area so you can spend the day together. Please remind each member of your team to register online so that we know how many people to plan for. Include your team name in the available field and we will know you are together.
Volunteer as an Individual
Make new friends as you play an integral role in making your city's Autism Speaks Walk event a success.