In 2002 I was one of a small group of volunteer parents who had this idea of putting on a walk to raise money for autism research and awareness, which at the time was affecting approximately one in 250 children. To see what started back then with 1,400 attendees grow to an event that brings 40,000 families, friends and service providers together is so inspiring, and the potential danger from the week's events in Boston didn't affect the mood.
But the sad reality is that the number of those diagnosed with autism keeps increasing, and it now affects one in 88 children. With April being autism awareness month, we must continue letting people know there is no cure and that autism is a public health crisis that demands adequate funding commensurate with its incidence. Today's children will be tomorrow's adults and we must be prepared to deal with the onslaught of individuals who will need jobs, housing and social services. Your part in helping spread the message is greatly appreciated.