April is Autism Awareness month. Last week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released staggering 2012 statistics for Autism stating 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, a dramatic increase from 2010 when the number was 1 in 150. To help parents and guardians that often start their journey of Autism without a clear direction; AutismOklahoma.org helps with answers, assistance and hope. Saturday, May 5th, AutismOklahoma.org will host the 5th annual Piece Walk & 5K at the Newcastle Field Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Families across the state are invited to attend this celebration of Autism in their lives.
The event begins at 7:30 a.m. with a Resource Fair exhibiting Autism organizations to assist families in their quest for answers in the breezeway of the ballpark. 2012 Exhibitors include: Oklahoma Life Skills Association, State Department of Education, Early Foundations/Early Access Screening Clinic, Oasis, Oklahoma Autism Network, Distinctive Language, Oklahoma Family Network, JD McCarty Center, Sooner Start and Abiding Hope Counseling.
There will also be plenty of fun for all ages, including Sooner Bounce bounce houses, the OKC Jedi, Unpluggits Play Studio, Forever After Parties princesses and characters, the Philharmonic Instrument Playground, Santa Fe Stomp Group, Victory Dance Studio and more!
The event gets started at 8:15 with an Opening Ceremony hosted by the 2 Movie Guys from Freedom 43 KAUT, followed by The Piece Walk at 8:30. The Walk is a one-mile family friendly procession through downtown/Bricktown filled with strollers, wagons and lots of cheer! The 5K begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Managed by DG Road Racing and sponsored by Red Coyote, the 5K features black Tech shirts with an original design by Jonathan Koelsch for the first 500 applicants. Packet pick-up will take place Friday, May 4th at Red Coyote on Classen Curve in OKC from 4 to 7 p.m. Registration will open at 7:30 a.m. the morning of the race.
For more information on donating and participating in the 2012 Piece Walk & 5K, please visit www.piecewalk.org. For more information on parent support groups, Autism programs and training opportunities, please visit www.AutismOklahoma.org. AutismOklahoma.org is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All proceeds raised from the Piece Walk & 5K STAY IN STATE to fund grants, Autism training programs, the annual State Autism Conference and various AutismOklahoma programs such as Bee’s Knees Arts Group, Summer Advance and Camp Noggin. AutismOklahoma.org has awarded over $85,000 in grants since 2010.