SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Maine Autism Alliance has opened Maine’s first Autism Community Center in Scarborough, Maine.
“This is an important part of our mission to help families in the area living with autism. We know first-hand that autism impacts the entire family as well as the community,” commented Heidi Bowden, executive director of the Alliance, in a prepared statement.
The Center will provide unique support groups targeting members of Maine’s autism community such as parents, grandparents, men and women with autism and siblings. Social clubs for children and adults on the autism spectrum will provide opportunities to develop appropriate social skills in a fun environment. The Center will also offer training on various topics.
“We feel education is the key for Maine’s autism community”, Bowden remarked. The Alliance is currently preparing for the Maine Autism Conference being held at the Augusta Civic Center, Oct. 12.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders–caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum, every 11 minutes a new person is diagnosed with autism. (CDC 2012)
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To help with funding, the Alliance is conducting STEP UP! For AUTISM Walks. September 15 atBrewer Community School, September 22 at Back Cove in Portland and September 29, inAugusta. FMI: Please go to www.maineautism.org
or call 219-8143 or 626-3042.
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