April is Autism Awareness Month!
Join us in helping individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder by making a meaningful contribution to Autism Delaware.
For Secure Online Donations:
To give via text, text the word Autism to 243725.
In 1995 the prevalence of autism was 1 in every 2,500 births. Today, it is 1 in 68.
Delaware is not immune to this trend. In 1991 there were just 152 children in our public schools with an educational classification of autism. Today, that number is 1,512. This is an 895% increase in 23 years and does not include children yet to be diagnosed, children with less severe autism, children not in public schools, or the many adults with autism.
With your support Autism Delaware can help make life better for individuals and families affected by autism throughout our state. We not only provide critical services, like clinical supports and adult vocational programming; we also offer crucial opportunities to reduce the isolation often felt by those with disabilities, bring families together to share with each other and create safe and supportive environments for all. Through our Family Support division, Autism Delaware provides families with recreational activities, sensory friendly social events, support groups, parent mentoring, speaker series, clinical services, IEP and school support and much, much more. This growing combination of programs and services provided throughout the state of Delaware empowers individuals and families affected by autism to learn, grow and live full lives as included and valued members of our community.
The summer camp offered at the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, DE is a remarkable program. Here, children with autism feel a sense of belonging and they are free to be who they are and enjoy one another’s company. The staff and volunteers understand autism and treat each child in a loving, respectful way – helping them to experience all the joys of a traditional summer camp.
Even though Dylan’s mom helps run the camp, for two years he declined offers to attend. He was afraid it would be just like school “no fun, more work, and other kids not talking to me.” After the first day of camp last summer, he told his mother, “I want to come to this camp every year for the rest of my life!” He loved taking out the kayak with the lifeguard, making new friends, and persevering through the ropes course!
For roughly 10 years Kevin’s parents have had to coerce him to participate in activities neuro-typical children usually long for. Camp is the one exception! Kevin starts planning for the August day camp in early June and makes sure his parents have it in their calendar as well. Kevin lives in Middletown but his father says the one-hour and twenty minute drive each way is well worth it. When Kevin gets in the car at the end of each camp day, he cannot stop talking about the fun he had and the relationships he built that day. Difficulty in building relationships is typical of children with autism. Kevin’s parents are always in awe when they hear of the many instant and meaningful connections Kevin is able to make at camp each day and each year.
It has taken Kevin years to build friendships and comfortable relationships with other students and teachers in his school. However, “He is able to make great friends at camp on day one,” says Kevin’s father. Now, fourteen years old and a five year camp veteran, Kevin’s parents brag about the long lasting impact of camp. “Camp is incentive for good behavior and an example of how much fun he can have when trying new things.”
Autism Delaware and the families we serve rely on support from benefactors like you to keep programs like the summer camp running. Please consider making a contribution today to support this mission.
Give online or via text at the links above, or send your check to Autism Delaware, 924 Old Harmony Rd, Suite 201, Newark, DE 19713.