Autism: A lifelong developmental disability affecting 1 in 88 that appears by the age of 3 and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.<br><br>April is Autism Awareness Month.<br><br>Over the past few years, we have shared with you some of the challenges that our family has faced with our son with autism. Christopher is now 20 years old and each year brings different successes and obstacles. We are blessed that he is a dedicated student who is bound and determined to make it on his own.<br><br>When he was diagnosed many years ago, we felt alone with no where to turn. Due to the generosity of so many, the awareness level has greatly increased and we now have services that have previously been unavailable in Polk County. Many of these services are the result of the tremendous efforts of the Central Florida Autism Institute, Inc. and its Center for Applied Behavior Analysis & Therapy. Last year CFAII was able to offer 5 full scholarships to summer camp; train 82 local police officers about autism and how to respond to our children in an emergency; continue to offer quality behavior programming at significantly reduced rates; provide free monthly trainings for parents on everything from how to implement behavior strategies at home, to how to obtain guardianship of their child at the age of 18; relocate to a larger facility to meet our growing needs, and much more!<br><br>I, Sonia, Christopher, Nicholas and Alex will be participating in the event and would appreciate your support to help me reach my fundraising goal.<br><br>Here are some of the ways you can help:<br><br>Join our Team -The 9th Annual Autism Awareness Walk/5K & Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 7:00 AM ââ‚¬â€œ 2:00 PM at Anchor Park on beautiful Lake Hollingsworth across from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Some of us will be participating in the 5K which begins at 7 am and some of us will be participating in the walk and family activities which begin at 9 am. You may register online by going to their website at <a target="" title="" href="http://www.cfaii.org">www.cfaii.org</a>.<br><br>Spread the Word - Please share about our event to friends, family members, co-workers, fellow church members, etc. The more people who participate, the more autism awareness we can spread and the more money we raise to support the families living with autism today!<br><br>Make a One Time Donation - All donations are tax deductible and stay right here in Central Florida to support our families living with autism today. To make a donation is very easy. Simply click on the DONATE button above and contribute.<br><br>You can even put in our team name, Awareness is Key, so that our team gets credit for the donations.<br><br>To learn more about CFAII, please visit their website at <a target="" title="" href="http://www.cfaii.org">www.cfaii.org.<br></a><br>The Lakeland Troianos thank for your help and support...we know you will come through for us!<br><br>With much love,<br><br>The Troiano Family,<br>Nick, Sonia, Christopher, Nicholas and Alex<br><br>*Don't be shy!!! Spread the word to your families and friends...and anyone else you think would be interested in helping!