On Saturday April 2nd 2016 – World Autism Awareness Day-, as the rest of the world walked, ran, spoke, and lit everything up blue to raise awareness for the cause, Lagosians were not left behind.
This year, as part of GTBank’s annual autism program, asktoks.com was present at the Walk 4 Autism! Participants convened at GTBank Ilupeju at 7am with representatives from GTB, CDC (Child Development Centre), The Learning Place, Nobelova Gradani, Patrick Speech, Treasure House School, and the asktoks.com team were present, as well as the wonderful individuals who came to show their support for the cause.
The route of the walk, which kicked off proper at 8am, was from the convene spot at GTBank Ilupeju on Town Planning way, down Ikorodu Road to Jibowu and back to the kick-off spot. It was fulfilling to see the participants, ranging from 5 to 60 years old having a jolly time dancing, walking, talking, and handing out flyers in order to sensitise the general public and raise awareness for the cause.
It was also an avenue for people to discuss issues surrounding autism. The walk was also a great way for people who had never taken up services to meet the current service providers in Lagos invested in behaviour therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy as well as schools with special education programs.
The vivacious and vibrant director of asktoks.com, Ms Toks was also spotted jumping up and down, dancing, and weaving in and out of conversations, answering questions and enlightening those she came across.
Film crews from different TV stations were also there to visually document the event, including the Battabox crew who are working on an awesome Autism Awareness video for this month.
After the walk, at about 1pm, the asktoks.com team gathered at Strangers Cafe and Wrap City in Lekki phase 1, lagos, where The Sweet Spot Bakery had provided delicious cupcakes, brownies and cookies for sale to support the cause. The participants were happy to buy and by the end of the weekend, all cupcakes, cookies and brownies were sold out.
Following that, at about 7pm, the asktoks.com team headed out to the Hans and Rene Gelateria flagship store at Radisson Blu Hotel in Victoria Island where the autism awareness flavour was halfway to being sold out. It was humbling, and yet satisfying to see that out of 36 flavours to choose from, people chose to the autism awareness flavour to support the cause. It was pretty awesome, that. The team sat there for over an hour talking to people about autism, sharing information cards and stickers to further spread awareness of autism spectrum disorders.
It was a successful day indeed as the asktoks.com team met the objectives set out prior to the walk. It was a pretty amazing day and it was interesting to see everyone who participated in the autism awareness walk bust the myth and misconception that people don’t care about autism in this part of the world. They are taking care of their loved ones who are on the spectrum and trying to let people know that living with an autism spectrum is not a tragedy, rather ignorance is the tragedy.