The weather was no obstacle for thousands of people showing their support for individuals with autism. With light drizzle in the early hours, the major storms managed to stay away this Saturday for Any Baby Can’s 14th Annual Walk for Autism & Superhero 5K. As an Official Fiesta® San Antonio event, the Helotes Cornyval Grounds were beautifully transformed with papel picado, fiesta flowers, and tons of Fiesta flair. As families gathered at the start line, a sea of team t-shirts, banners, and posters could be seen from the opening ceremonies stage. When asked what being a part of the Walk for Autism means to her, Sharon Carlson says, “It means being a part of a family. Not being alone.” A sentiment heard many times from so many parents with a child on the spectrum.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar addressed the crowd during opening ceremonies. “It doesn’t matter if you live on the West side, South side, East side, or North side, we’re all a part of the puzzle. We all know and love someone with autism,” says Sheriff Salazar. With autism being the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the US, autism awareness in our community is absolutely necessary.
For 35 years Any Baby Can has been the safety net for families raising children and youth with special healthcare needs and developmental challenges. With over 30,000 individuals in Bexar County and surrounding areas diagnosed with autism, it is crucial for Any Baby Can to continue to provide parent training, counseling, and other much needed supports to the hundreds of families that come through their Autism Services Program each year. Any Baby Can trains an average of 250 parents annually on behavior management strategies. With all services offer at no cost to families, ABC relies heavily on the success of this event to fund these programs.
In addition to raising funds, the Walk for Autism is also an event that brings community organizations together so that families can learn about all the resources San Antonio has to offer. Nearly 100 community organizations, non-profits, and businesses attend every year to provide important information to parents along with fun goodies for children. Any Baby Can works closely with so many of these community organizations to best serve families and children in need.
Fiesta is certainly a time to party with a purpose, and that absolutely sums up Any Baby Can’s Walk for Autism. It was a morning full of celebration and fun. And it was also at time for families to come together to see that they are not alone in their journey with autism.
For more information about Any Baby Can, visit anybabycansa.org or call 210.227.0170.