Walk Now for Autism Speaks set Sept 10

Autism Speaks, North Americas largest autism science and advocacy organization, announces that the 4th annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville.

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 the Nashville area and beyond. Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in 1 in every 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a unique fund raising event that offers a safe and fun day for families impacted by autism.The day includes a 2- to 3-mile Walk and Community Resource fair with educational sources, therapists, schools, recreational organizations, and creative child-friendly activities a true one-stop-shop for families affected by autism.

For the fifth straight year, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us will serve as the North American sponsors of Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Additional sponsors include: Wholesale Inc, Cunningham, The Childrens Treatment Center, Dollar General, Reeves-Sain Family of Medical Services, Demos Restaurant, Vi-Jon Inc, River Oaks Learning Center, Tennessee State Parks, Therapy Buzz, Fox 17, The CW 58, MY 30, Clearchannel Radio, 98.1 WSIX and 107.5The River.

The Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are the signature fund raising events for Autism Speaks, raising nearly $26 million in 2010 alone to support autism research, awareness and advocacy. Last years Nashville Walk Now for Autism Speaks attracted more than 2,500 walkers and raised more than $175,000.

Autism Speaks has made a significant impact in the Nashville area, a spokesperson said. Locally, 17 projects representing $1,718,737 in investments have been funded. In addition to its national efforts, the organization has provided over $50,000 in funding to local services providers, including TRIAD - Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for ASDs and The TEAM Center in Chattanooga through its Family Services Community Grant program. It also provides funding to Vanderbilt University, which is part of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), the nation's first network of hospitals and physicians aiming to improve treatment for individuals with autism. Autism Speaks science grants have supported research at Vanderbilt University as well.

For more information about the 2011 Tennessee Walk Now for Autism Speaks, visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/tennessee or contact Kathy Streng at 238-1625 or kathy.streng@autismspeaks.org.