Walk for autism this May

Nido Early School Ocean Grove's Walk for Autism team members Niamh Wilson, left, Lori Fay and Belinda Rowland. (Ivan Kemp) 407474_01

By Jena Carr

An Ocean Grove group will walk thousands of steps a day throughout May to raise awareness and support for people on the autism spectrum.

Educators and parents from Nido Early School Ocean Grove have agreed to walk 7000 steps daily throughout the month during Aspect’s annual Walk for Autism national fundraising campaign.

School educator Belinda Rowland has a son with nonverbal autism and said it was her second time participating in the campaign as part of the school’s team.

“As a parent, the walk is a great way for me to spread some awareness amongst my own small community, even within my family, to educate them,” she said.

“As an educator, our service is incredibly inclusive. The children are aware that people are different, and that’s okay. So, as an educational tool, the children are all very aware of what we’re walking for.

“It’s also a great team building thing and we’ve probably got like 95 per cent of our educators participating this year, so it’s definitely something fun for us to do together.”

The Nido Early School Ocean Grove team has already raised more than $1900. Ms Rowland said one of the group’s objectives was to raise awareness of autism within the community.

“It is amazing the difference between an educator who has some awareness about children’s differences, and one who doesn’t. It impacts on a child so greatly,” she said.

“The walk is something we’re all pretty passionate about…and we have educators with family members with autism and some educators that are on the spectrum.”

Visit walkforautism.org.au/fundraisers/nidoearlyschooloceangrove to help Nido Early School Ocean Grove fundraise for autism awareness and support.