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      Walk Now for Autism Speaks

      Erin and Christian Mast place the last piece in the Autism Speaks puzzle at kick off event. / Photograph by Matt Mulcahy.

      The logo for Autism Speaks is a puzzle piece. Tonight at the kick off event for Central New York's Walk Now for Autism Speaks Erin Mast and her son Christian completed the puzzle adding the last powder blue corner. Christian actually did the heavy lifting after he delivered a heart warming speech to the room filled with families, friends and volunteers looking to do their part to improve the lives of families and children which deal with autism every day.

      The Mast's were the last to share their thoughts about why they walk for Autism Speaks. There were others before them who talked about the challenges and triumphs of having an autistic person in your household and in your life. They know the demands. 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with autism. There is a ten percent growth per year in new autism diagnosis. Some of that comes from greater awareness. Autism Speaks says some of the growth may come from environmental issues.

      There are scientists and physicians working to figure out the answers. They need help for research and testing. But, tonight it was more about the families in our own community. Despite the personal challenges they face they have the ability to look beyond their own front yard. They realize working together for a larger goal of finding a cause, treatment and a cure is in the best interest of the entire community across the spectrum of autism disorders.

      They've asked me to be the honorary chairman for the October 3rd Walk Now for Autism Speaks event at Long Branch Park in Liverpool. It's not a heavy lift for me. I'm just hoping to utilize the power of the media to bring attention to the cause. I've included some links to the details of how you can support the event. You'll be hearing more about it in the weeks to come.

      Perhaps you can be the key piece to completing the puzzle to beat autism.