They have made game-winning field goals. They have competed in the Miss America Pageant. They are piano prodigies.
People with autism and other developmental disabilities have made great contributions to the world. But they are also just like us. They attend our schools and grow up in our neighborhoods. In 2016, every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with autism. You probably know someone very special who may be diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
Autism affects children in different ways—and no two cases are alike. But we can come together to make sure these children and adults have the same opportunities with the support they need.
Supporting the Social Needs of Children with Autism
Children with autism are special and gifted, but they also require special support. While there is a range of resources available for medical and academic concerns for families, a large part of caring for a child with autism is the social and emotional piece. What’s a parent to do when it’s hard to set up a play date? When there are no friends to invite to a birthday party? When it’s hard for them to connect with their classmates?
We realize we are all pieces in the puzzle to build a community that supports others with disabilities and social deficits. It is all of our responsibility to be open, welcoming and supportive of people who see the world differently than we do.
Our community has come together to help these students in many ways, especially with providing them a home to be themselves and build their relational ability. Developmental Connections, specifically, helps our children by:
- Providing a space to connect with others similar to them
- Teaching them social skills from the ground up with the Social Thinking® curriculum
- Creating a fun, recreational environment to expand children’s interests
- Helping them express their true thoughts and feelings
- Offering spaces to cultivate friendships at school and during the summer
In the end, we know our students are gifted and strong, and with the right community and support around them, they are ready to make a difference in the world.
Let’s help create a better world for autism, one child at a time.