The Oakland County chapter of the Autism Society of America, is partnering with Oakland University’s Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) to better serve the autism community in southeast Michigan. The Autism Society has awarded a $30,000 grant to OUCARES to continue programming that serves teenagers and adults dealing with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The Autism Society of America – Oakland County will sponsor the OUCARES After Hours Adult Social program for the next three years. One of the common characteristics of individuals with ASD is difficulty with social skills and interactions. At After Hours, individuals with autism have opportunities to learn and improve their social skills in a safe and inclusive environment.
In addition, the grant award will provide the autism community with an annual themed social event for the next three years. Such an event provides individuals who are uncomfortable attending a school dance or super bowl party, for example, the social experience in a setting which is accommodating and understanding of individuals with ASD.
The Autism Society will also sponsor Family Fun Day, held at OU’s Recreation and Athletic Center on March 21, 2010. Last year, families from across southeast Michigan swam, made arts and crafts, viewed artwork by OUCARES individuals, and visited the resource fair.
Oakland University has offered extensive programming to individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since 2004. Over the past three years, the program has served more than 750 families through 91 sessions of 17 different programs, as well as numerous special events that include the annual Family Fun Day and red carpet Film Premiere. OUCARES has expanded its programming to offer up to 10 programs weekly, ongoing workshops, parent support groups, two summer camps and monthly special events. Program enrollment has increased from 50 in 2005 to more than 530 individuals today. For more information about OUCARES programs, visit oakland.edu/oucares or email firstname.lastname@example.org.