The Community House is excited to announce its 10th Annual Walk the Walk for Autism on Sunday, April 23. All of the proceeds raised by the Walk will go to support Charlie’s Gift Autism Center, a program of The Community House that addresses the needs of children and families facing autism and other related disorders. This year’s 3-mile Walk will step off from The Community House 415 W. Eighth Street, Hinsdale, at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine.
Although autism occurs in children, it affects the entire family and circle of support for a lifetime. 1 in 68 children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with 5 times more boys than girls diagnosed. Caring for an individual with ASD over their lifetime can range from $3.5-7 million, not including the care that should be provided to siblings, parents, caregivers, and others involved in supporting the individual.
Charlie’s Gift Center for Autism and Related Disorders addresses the needs of children and families facing autism and related disorders. As a community-wide resource serving the Chicago metro area, Charlie’s Gift strives to support the family as whole, educate the community and raise awareness about the importance of beginning therapy early so children have the best possible start to reach their full potential. Since becoming part of The Community House, Charlie’s Gift has helped hundreds of children and families providing $334,687 in programs and services to those affected by ASD each year.
A comprehensive array of individualized therapies and group activities including speech, occupational, mental health/behavior, and social/motor/sensory development are provided with the child, parents, siblings, extended family members, and caregivers treated as a unit to form a circle of support. Each family receives a unique treatment plan with individualized goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes tailored to each child’s strengths and needs.
Families who need comprehensive services should not be faced with the worry of how to pay for services. Private insurance or fees paid by families cover less than 60 percent of the cost of providing services leaving families or caregivers seeking options to cover unpaid costs. And fees only cover the cost of the therapist’s time for a specific one-on-one or group session. Many other essential services not covered by insurance payments include pre-session and post-session planning, meetings and programs for parents and siblings, new program development, training and educational materials, referral resources, therapeutic supplies and equipment, and community outreach and advocacy efforts.
Since fees generally cover only 60 percent of the costs of providing necessary services, the remaining 40 percent must be covered by fundraising efforts. Each year Walk the Walk for Autism raises over $90,000 to help cover these additional costs. Each step taken in Walk the Walk for Autism supports the comprehensive and family-centered services provided to children, families and our local community through Charlie’s Gift.
For further information about Charlie’s Gift, please visit our website at www.thecommunityhouse.org or contact Cara Romanini at 630-810-1200 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Walk the Walk for Autism or to register click www.thecommunityhouse.org/charliesgift or contact The Community House’s Development Manager, Sarah Sieracki at Sieracki@thecommunityhouse.org.