People are still struggling to learn and understand autism and what we as a community can do to help. That’s where the Autism Speaks Walk comes into play. Friends and families of children and adults with autism come together across the country for these walks created out of love to raise money for research and supportive services for people with any of the many forms of autism. This year’s walk is being held this Saturday, April 28 at Raymond James Stadium: registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10:30 a.m.

Autism is a disorder that affects one in 68 children, according to Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), can not only be present as a range of conditions that are challenges, but also can show up as unique strengths in different children. The reason the word “spectrum” is used is because there is such a wide variation in what appears in each person, whether it is a challenge or a strength.

One of these loving families involved in the Autism Speaks Walk is the Purdy family right here in Tampa. Sally-Ann Purdy with husband James are the owners of BOING! Fun Center. They bought BOING! Fun Center in 2016 to ensure that it remained a locally owned-family centric place for kids to come and have a fun – and safe – time.  In addition to having special events at their facility such as Illumiights, where everything is lit up with black lights and bright colors, they also have events that serve families too. There are special times for toddlers, as well as special needs nights for those that have various developmental issues. This is especially important to the Purdys because their 12-year-old son Sam is autistic. Sam is who they’re walking for, and they have a donation page set up where you can help them meet their goal

You can donate to the team, or donate directly to one of the team members, such as Sally-Ann herself. 

For more information about the Autism Speaks Walk, or to register to walk yourself, you can visit this page here.

And feel free to check out all the wonderful family-friendly activities at BOING! Fun Center too.

BOING! Fun Center is located at 622 Ware Blvd, in Tampa; call them at 813-341-4897.