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Why I Walk - Edward J. Nitkewicz

This blog post is by Ed Nitkewicz of the Long Island Walk

"Autism is like this: someone breaks into your house late at night and steals your precious child's mind and personality and leaves the bewildered body behind."

As many of you know, my son Edward suffers from Autism. Autism is a severe developmental disorder of neurobiological origin that begins in early childhood and results in seriously impaired social interaction, communication and behavioral functioning. In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of children diagnosed with Autism. As a father of a child suffering from autism, I long for the day when my son will be in a position to readily tell me what he feels, what he thinks, what he wants and what he loves. 

Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. 

I am proud to announce that I am a Committee Co-Chair of the 2012 Walk Now for Autism Speaks, the annual fund-raising walk dedicated to raising funds crucial to great work of Autism Speaks. It is in that regard that I write to you. This year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks will be held on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at Field 5 of Jones Beach State Park. 

I am also proud to announce that Edward's Army is currently featured in this year's Walk Now for Autism Speaks public service announcement. Please take a moment to view the short announcement currently airing on Cablevision stations: 

 

Last year, many of you joined us as members of "Edward's Army" which is my family's Walk Now team. Our goal this year is to raise $ 75,000.00 in support of Autism Speaks and its mission to provide funding for high quality diagnostic and treatment services, educational support for professionals working with our disabled children and research designed to treat and ultimately, cure, Autism. 
Would you please consider supporting Edward's Army this year by joining our Walk Team and/or making a tax deductible donation to Autism Speaks? 

Donating and "enlisting" as a member of the Edward's Army Walk Team is easy - just click here.

I thank you and all my dear friends and family who have supported this very personal cause in the past. Your help has been a blessing to families like mine afflicted by this disorder.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.