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April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism AwarenessApril 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 1 out of 68 children based on the CDC’s research, 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 and Children’s Mercy Hospital. With these numbers growing, more and more individuals with autism and their families will need support 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 around the metro area that meet monthly and offer speakers on topics from anxiety to transition and services. We also have networking where parents can visit one on one with each other. One of our groups is a Mom’s Coffee Group that meets monthly on a Saturday to just sit and chat. This can be very therapeutic just to talk about life and knowing you have support.

New Just Like You Autism Film
One of our newest projects is our Just Like You Autism Film where we partnered with the creators of the Just Like You Films that 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 launched in September 2014 and has been seen worldwide and was launched on YouTube March 24, 2015. Visit www.justlikeyou-autism.org to learn more.

Birthday Parties, Movies, Events,
Parent Training and More!
ASH offers many membership programs, including quarterly birthday parties, 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, a designated time with Santa one on one in a sensory friendly environment. ASH is expanding to offer social events just for girls. And, coming soon, we will be partnering with a service provider to provide job skills and employment training for young adults and adults with autism.

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 $50,000 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 First Annual
Just Be You
Walk for Autism
April 25th at Sporting Park!
The Autism Society the Heartland will be hosting our first annual Just Be You Walk for Autism on April 25th from 9:30 am to 12 noon at Sporting Park Stadium in Kansas City, KS. To register, go to www.asaheartland.org and click on the Just Be You Walk link.

Our mission is to help improve the lives of all affected by autism. We need your help. Every little amount makes a difference. Please join us!

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