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Apr 22, 201309:44 AMDaily News

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Finding help for autism in Central Pennsylvania

Apr 22, 2013 - 09:44 AM

Autism Awareness Month may be wrapping up, but the challenges parents with autistic children face aren’t going anywhere.

With increased awareness over the years has also come an increase in services and resources. There are countless resources for support, information and simply networking in the autism community.

Here is a list of some of those services for families with children on the autism spectrum right here in Central Pennsylvania:

  • Autism York: This nonprofit in York hosts monthly meetings as well as special seminars and other events to raise awareness about autism as well as simply have fun. They have movies, Zumbathons and even a Tumble Town play date May 11.
  • NHS: Whether your child needs one-on-one help, group interaction or even a school dedicated to autistic children, NHS has you covered. The nonprofit offers schools in York and Carlisle as well as other programs such as support groups or sensitivity training. For more on NHS’ school in Carlisle, check out the spring edition of Capabilities!
  • Autism Society of Greater Harrisburg Area: This organization holds monthly meetings and dinners for families. It’s a great way to meet local parents with children with ASD. It also has many social activities throughout the year, including a sensory picnic, holiday parties and events just for teens, mothers or fathers.
  • Philhaven Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities: Philhaven is a nonprofit focused on behavioral healthcare. It opened a center to autism and developmental disabilities in 2005, and now offers support and other services for families with children on the spectrum.
  • Lancaster Public Library: Lancaster’s library holds a special section for autistic children and their parents. It includes books and movies for parents as well as specialized computers for kids.
  • Operation Autism: This resource is web-based rather than physically located in the area, but it’s an important source specifically for military families. The military lifestyle is challenging enough for a family, but having children with ASD can make it much more difficult. Autistic kids like routine and hate change, yet that’s all they know in the military. From where to get support near a fort to advice on just moving often with kids on the spectrum, Operation Autism is a great tool for our armed services.

Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent.

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