Here at Keller Williams Realty Wellington, positively impacting our community is a priority. This is why our real estate company has put together The Culture Committee. At KWW, The Culture Committee is the catalyst and leadership to galvanize our agents to get involved with community fundraisers, and programs. For the past 11 years, we have proudly sponsored the Autism Speaks walk in Palm Beach, Florida raising tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.
Held annually in locations across the United States, the Autism Speaks walk is the world's largest autism fundraising event. Not only does the fundraising help influence government policy, but it's also dedicated to promoting solutions for families and individuals in need of support. Moreover, Autism Speaks increases global understanding and acceptance of people with autism.
Since the organizers use the funds raised to work with the White House, Congress, state legislators, agencies, and regulators, any donation goes a long way. Autism Speaks also strives to serve those with autism and their families by improving representation. They do so with content creation, teaching others about autism, and increasing inclusive practices in the workplace.
According to the Autism Speaks Strategic Plan for Science, primary goals include:
- Seeking out the causes and types of autism
- Lowering the average age of diagnosis to under two years old
- Enhancing medical treatment of autism's associated health conditions
At Keller Williams Realty Wellington, our agents pride themselves on impacting the community and are annually recognized by Keller Williams Realty International for our efforts. We have been honored to help on a national level with Autism Speaks for the past 11 years. This year we are thrilled to announce that we will focus our efforts even more directly on the Wellington community and those impacted by autism. As such we will raise money on behalf of our local school for autism. Are you ready to join us as a sponsor for The Palm Beach School for Autism in 2022? Click here for more information about the school, their programs, and to donate.
What Is Autism, and How Does It Affect My Community?
The autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the CDC, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the U.S. or approximately 5,000 children, along with their families and friends in Palm Beach County. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, people with autism have distinct strengths and challenges.
No autism disorder is 100% alike, which is why our communities need extra funding to create resources for everyone who has this disorder. Some Floridians with autism may require considerable support in their daily lives, while others may need less support. Fundraising for this cause helps create local programs where parents can be educated to notice the early signs of autism, which can be spotted in a child as young as 18 months old but usually appear by age 2 or 3.
According to Autism Speaks, the core symptoms of autism are:
- Social communication challenges
- Restricted behaviors
- Repetitive behaviors
Other symptoms of autism may include:
- Sensory issues
- High rates of certain physical health conditions
- High rates of specific mental health conditions
- Oversensitivity to sounds, lights, tastes, smells, and other stimuli
- Under sensitivities to lights, touch, tastes, pain, and other stimuli
Post-walk Advocacy Network for Autism in Florida
As mentioned above, Autism Speaks works on a range of policy issues that address the needs of people with autism. If you're interested in getting involved, you may want to join the Grassroots Advocacy Network. Members of the advocacy network play a key role in educating other community members on policy issues regarding autism. This network consists of volunteers who work to effectively communicate with elected officials, raise awareness on social media platforms, and contribute to local events.
Whether you've been affected directly by autism within your family or community or are genuinely interested in supporting a local cause, the Grassroots Advocacy Network protects the rights, services, and supports of people with autism. Click here to learn more on how to get involved.
Can't Donate to The School for Autism in Florida? Volunteer at the Autism Speaks Walk Instead!
The pandemic has been complex for many of us, and it has added more stress to our daily lives, but it may have also changed our lives forever. Although, this doesn't mean the fight for autism stops. If you'd like to volunteer your time instead of donating, you can do it as a team or individually.
These community events would not be possible without the help, dedication, and support from volunteers local to Palm Beach, Florida. From set-up or clean-up crews to greeting participants as they arrive or cheering the walkers on at mid-point water stops, there's plenty to do as a volunteer at Autism Speaks. If you're looking to work with a team, you may also recruit friends, family, and coworkers.
In 2021, all members of the KWW family, from agents to clients, from vendors to lenders of past and present, made big donations to help us reach our goal for the Project Next Autism Fundraiser. We’re ready to do it again in 2022! Stay tuned for more updates and give us a follow on social media!