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April is Autism Awareness Month

Annual  Just Be You Walk for Autism
Sydney Sorkin and her son Noah
Sydney ran 20 races in 20 weeks to raise close to $3,000 to help support the Swim and Safety Program that supports those with autism to learn water safety and train parents on wandering safety.

April is Autism Awareness Month and the Kansas City Metro has many things to celebrate with the services and programs that have been in existence and many services that are developing and growing. The Autism Society the Heartland (ASH) is one of those local resources that serves families in the Kansas City Metro. This organization started in the early 2000’s and now has grown to service over 2,000 members each year.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects about one in 45 children according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, but those numbers are changing. An average of 1100 individuals get diagnosed with autism each year based on the numbers from the local diagnostics centers, such as KU CCHD and Children’s Mercy Hospital. With these numbers growing, more and more individuals with autism and their families will need supports and services.

Networking and Support Groups
The Autism Society the Heartland is working hard to create services for all individuals. We have five support groups, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, East Central KS, Wichita and Eastern Jackson Co in Missouri. The  monthly meetings  offer speakers on topics from anxiety to transition and services. We now  offer Saturday Seminars which are monthly workshops that focus on current issues and participation from attendees.

Emmy® Award Winning  
Just Like You Autism Film
Our Emmy® Award Winning Just Like You Autism Film focuses on the lives of 3 individuals with different forms of autism. The focus is to educate and spread awareness on autism in our schools and community and how individuals with autism want to be treated just like you and me. The film won a Mid-America Emmy® and has been seen worldwide and was launched on YouTube March 24, 2015. Visit www.justlikeyou-autism.org to learn more.

Social Events, Movies,
Parent Training and More!
ASH offers many membership programs, including quarterly social activities, parent training, TWEEN Club, AWARE, Adults with Autism Recreational Events, social activities for all ages, our Sensory Film partnership with AMC Theatres, Swim and Safety Program, holiday events that are sensory friendly, photos with Santa, and a designated time with Santa one on one in a sensory friendly environment. ASH is expanding to offer social events just for girls.

Scholarship Funds
One of the things that ASH has been doing for several years is offering scholarship funds for those with autism to go to special camps, have communication devices, take social skills classes, get security alarms, and therapies that are autism related. In the last few years, we have given out nearly $61,000 in scholarships. All of the funds that come to the Autism Society the Heartland go right back out into the community to assist our loved ones.

Autism affects individuals differently in so many ways. We celebrate the smallest accomplishments and we seek out help and assistance during the times of opportunities to help support our loved ones. With autism numbers growing, we still need more services, insurance to cover many of the services and a community that is understanding and supportive. Every day we want to create opportunities for each individual with autism to have a full and successful life in their own way. For more information, please call The Autism Society the Heartland at 913-706-0042, or visit us online at www.asaheartland.org.

Attend the 2nd Annual
Just Be You
Walk for Autism
April 24th at KU Edwards!

The Autism Society the Heartland will be hosting our 2nd annual Just Be You Walk for Autism on April 24th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, KS.
To register, go to www.asaheartland.org and click on the Just Be You Walk link.

Autism Society The Heartland
2nd Annual  Just Be You Walk for Autism
Sunday, April 24th, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
KU Edwards Campus
12600 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS 66213
1:30 – Event Starts  * 2:30 – Walk Ceremony Begins * 3:30 – Event Ends

To register, go to www.asaheartland.org and click on the Just Be You Walk link.
Form a Walk Team and fundraise with fun ideas like an Office Jeans Day,
Family Game Night, School Parties or Events.The Event Activities will be in the middle of the  KU Edwards Campus.

The Resource Fair will be in the BEST Conference Center and the walk will be around the campus.
Wheelchair and Stroller accessible.*Service or Therapy Dogs Only*

Don’t forget about our Resource Tent!
Kansas and Missouri resources will be onsite to serve the autism community.
And let’s talk Snacks and Beverages!
Panera Cookies, Enjoy Life Foods and healthy treats from local businesses that cater to the autism community.

To register, go to www.asaheartland.org and click on the Just Be You Walk link.
Form a Walk Team and fundraise with fun ideas like an Office Jeans Day,
Family Game Night, School Parties or Events.

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