Autism awareness event marks 10th anniversary

SAN BENITO — More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the 10th Annual Autism Awareness Event.

The event is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Bobby Morrow Stadium and will kick off Autism Awareness Month for April.

The event is a joint effort of the parental involvement department of the San Benito school district and the district’s special education department, said Luis Gonzalez, district coordinator of parent engagement.

The campaign is a worldwide effort to help raise awareness so people will better understand what autism is and what autism is not.

The research and awareness organization, Autism Speaks, began this program to highlight the progress and the challenges that face families who have members with autism.

This disability continues to be a growing public health crisis with one in 68 children being diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

Many unanswered questions still surround this challenging diagnosis.

This year, event coordinators will introduce a new element to the autism event by adding a parade of colors with each San Benito campus.

“We are asking each campus to form a group of students, staff and parents that will march around the track in support of autism awareness,” Gonzalez said.

“Each campus will be announced as they march and show their spirit. We encourage each group to wear their campus T-shirts, and carry signs with colorful autism puzzle pieces.”

The district held its first Autism Walk in 2008 at the trail, attracting close to 200 participants.

If You Go

WHEN: Friday, March 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Bobby Morrow Stadium at San Benito High School