In honor of April being Autism Awareness month, the Children’s Village blog will dedicate the rest of the month to posting resources, updates on services as well as personal stories of families from our community who are raising a child with Autism. If you have a concern or question about your child’s development, start here with this easy online developmental screening tool.
In late November 2011, Children’s Village was awarded a program development grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. This grant is to develop evidence-based practices to provide comprehensive Autism services throughout the community. This includes mapping the community and identifying where services are unavailable, creating partnerships throughout the community to provide fluid and comprehensive services and develop therapy and curriculum models to best serve children birth to 18-years-old in our community.
Much has been accomplished in just a few short months. Children’s Village has partnered with University of Washington to strategically map the community and identify needs. Partnerships with the Washington State Migrant Council and the Yakima Nation are being solidified to expand service lines to communities previously underserved. And internally, Children’s Village has developed a program to link together existing community partners and internal staff to increase new learning and continuity of care for families.
Also in development is a social skills group planned for this summer. This group will serve children ages 8 to 11-years-old and their parents. But, the innovative and exciting component of this camp is to develop training and curriculum to be dispersed throughout community partners that serve children with Autism (including school districts, Children’s Village partners).
While the grant is still in its infancy and much is left to accomplish, the exciting work taking place to EXPAND understanding and service lines to families in our community is underway. Children’s Village was built on the foundation of collaboration and this grant helps further that mission in a tangible way. With one out of every 88 children being diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, the time is now to find creative and sustainable ways for children and families to access the services they need.