What are the Community Enrichment Presentations?
In 2017 we recieved the Hussman Grant to begin our Community Enrichment Program. Our community enrichment program consists of community presentations and activities that focus on networking, leisure, education, and support for the family unit. We focus on events and presentations that seek to improve the lives individuals who experience autism across the lifespan and their families. The types of events we host include play groups, presentations, and workshops geared towards individuals who experience autism and their families, as well as informational sessions for professionals in the community who interact with individuals who experience autism. In the past year we hosted a workshop by a local speech therapist on Social Thinking and Self-Regulation, a presentation by a local Naturopathic Doctor on a Biomedical Approach to Autism, a Medical Professional’s Lunch-and-Learn, a Back-to-School Sensory Recharge, and more. We found great success using Facebook Live to broadcast our events to the vast geographic area we serve this past year and intend to increase our use of the technology in the coming year.
How does this meet the need of Alaskans?
Our affiliate has received increased positive feedback from the community for our informational events, including our first annual conference. In addition, one of the most common requests we receive from families is information about leisure activities for individuals with autism. We intend to combine the need for information and leisure activities by building on and continuing our Community Enrichment Program. We will partner with local businesses to provide leisure opportunities to those who experience autism, such as bowling or gymnastics and silks classes, while also providing networking, socializing, and referral services to the whole family. We will also host community presentations and workshops on a range of topics affecting individuals with autism. Past events include workshops on social skills, sensory processing, and medical issues. Stay tuned for our 2018 Community Enrichment Schedule!