Walk Now for Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest grassroots autism walk program. The Walk is Autism Speaks’ signature fundraising and awareness event, taking place in communities across the United States, as well as in Canada. Powered by volunteers, families with loved ones on the autism spectrum, as well as local businesses and companies that employ those on the spectrum, this successful fundraising effort not only generates vital funds for autism research, but also raises awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism, and the need for increased research funding to combat this complex disorder.
Giant Steps school Director, Betty Berger says – “We walk for autism, we walk for community, and we walk for awareness. We walk because it feels good to join the St. Louis Autism Community, and so many people are coming together because their lives have been touched by autism.”
All Giant Steps students participate in social skills classes with small groups of peers, usually 2 to 4 children per session.
The Social Skills class was created with the primary goal to teach students how to learn skills such as; how to sit at a table with others, engage in an activity, take a turn, wait for others to play, and learn how to win and lose. When you walk into this class you will see a wide variety of games to entice every child, at every level and ability.
We have seen our children develop, and the teachers help the students learn how to appropriately interact with peers, as well as how to be cooperative in group settings.
Students may be building a pretend zoo, working intently in a social skills workbook, practicing imitation skills, or learning how to have conversations with friends. Others are building with Legos, or matching their faces to different emotions.
These activities allow the children to learn important social skills while experiencing a fun classroom environment.