Autism Walk

 

If you've never been on an Autism Walk, what are you waiting for?

Alan, Lucas and Lauren at an autism walk

We had the pleasure of attending 2 different autism walks in April.

We were scared - We had never gone to one of these events. Honestly, they're never close to home, and like every other parent of an autistic child, we were SCARED...

"What if we get to the autism walk and..." (pick all that apply):

  • He hates it and screams all day?
  • There aren't any decent bathrooms?
  • The weather is too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc?
  • He doesn't like any of the food there?
  • He likes ALL the food there?!

You get the idea; it's always a gamble taking Lucas somewhere new.

We were invited to these autism walks to sell our product line, so we had the added questions about how Lucas would do at his first ever "selling opportunity", an autism walk for the Autism Society of Harrisburg, PA. But we decided to give it a try.

Autism Walk, Harrisburg, PA

After a 3 hour drive, we arrived at City Island for the Harrisburg autism walk. There was a large building, closed on three sides, where registration, food, and vendors would be set up.

We found the bathrooms (like I said, it was a 3 hour drive), and got set up. Lucas, my husband Alan and I each wore a different shirt from our newest Autism Awareness line, so we could show them off. The day lasted from 9 a.m. until 2, when we packed up and headed home.

We were quite moved by the fact that the Harrisburg autism walk was named after a young man who didn't know how to dress for the temperature.

He wandered away one night, to be found dead of exposure the next morning. All day people came to our table and commented that "if Logan's family had one of your thermometers for teaching temperature, it might not have happened."

Autism Walk, Delaware

The second autism walk that LucasWorks participated at was for the Autism Society of Delaware. Because Lucas' birthday was the day before, I attended the Delaware autism walk by myself, as Lucas had new DVD's to watch! Boy do I regret not taking him, because he would have had a great time.

At our Delaware autism walk, I met the mom and family of a young man, Ajay, who finished school and is now working. (Hi, Ajay and Crystal!)

I was so inspired by listening to Ajay tell me what he does at work! (It's so much I can't remember it all, but it's REAL work for a REAL company.)

I also got a huge kick out of the University of Delaware football team, who help out by running the games. They learned about autism that day, too.

They also learned that gluten-free cookies can be GOOD. The owner of Sweet Christine's had to shoo them away; they were eating all her "try me" cookies!

Autism Walk, worth going to no matter where!

Inspirational and fun - If you've never been to an autism walk, you're missing out on a wonderful day! We met people at both autism walks who inspired us with their stories, and people who said we inspired them with our stories. In Harrisburg, Lucas very quickly learned how to "model" his shirt, and I think he felt quite proud of himself.

At both autism walks there were lots of families, a few dogs and of course, everyone there was familiar with autism, so behaviors that might have been problematic elsewhere were just minor events that everyone understood.

Both the Harrisburg and the Delaware Autism Societies made the day's events very hospitable, with music (DJ or local Jazz radio station), food and games, in addition to vendors like us who offered items and services to help families dealing with autism.

I've since heard from people I met at both autism walks, and once again, I can't believe I was ever concerned about going to these events. These Autism Societies went out of their way to provide a day of fun, food and entertainment for all of us, and I, for one, will be back!

So if you have been putting off even considering going to an autism walk, get out your calendar, and make next March the time to find out if your local Autism Society chapter has one. If so, GO! All of you!! You'll discover a good time and wonder what took you so long!

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