April is National Autism Awareness Month…Learn More.

The month of April is designated as National Autism Awareness Month and Ohio Valley Goodwill wishes to join the larger community in the national educational campaign effort. According to the official website of the Autism Society, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys.

For more than a century, Goodwill has been providing employment and training services and each year serves more than 3400 people with disabilities and other barriers to employment including those with Autism. Goodwill’s mission is to help people become fully involved in their home communities as well as to obtain employment as desired and to achieve personal success. As such, the organization has a number of award-winning programs and services that are designed to support individuals in their vocational and life enrichment goals.

Ohio Valley Goodwill offers a variety of programs that support relationship building opportunities as well as community involvement and inclusion. These services range from the organization’s award-winning Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education (CARE) program to its Community Access and Community Living Supports programs. The CARE program offered through its main headquarters in the village of Woodlawn as well as at its Westwood location offers community outings and volunteering, home life skills, functional academics as well as advocacy and self-determination opportunities. All activities are designed with the input of the individual participants and reflect the interests of the group.

The Community Access program offers individualized support to participate in activities of choice throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. Examples include: concerts, horseback riding, festivals, King’s Island, movies, shopping, park visits, Zoo, museums, Newport Aquarium and other destinations of interest.
The Community Living Supports program offers personalized assistance with activities of daily living in home environments. Supports include: assistance with banking and budgeting, laundry, housekeeping, meal planning and grocery shopping, scheduling and day planning and other needed supports as desired.

Please join Goodwill in working to enhance community awareness during National Autism Awareness Month. For more information about Goodwill’s programs and services, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services.

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