Give a family affected by autism the in-home support they need to help their child's development.
Kids with autism are amazing -- but their unique needs and behaviors offer real challenges for their families. All too often parents have feelings of guilt, grief, and inadequacy when it comes to caring for kids on the spectrum. Unfortunately, many families find it a struggle to bridge the gap between the benefits gained in a therapeutic setting and daily life in the home.
Support for these families is essential.
St. David's Center for Child & Family Development provides in-home support services for families with a child or children on the autism spectrum. Their family support practitioners and graduate-level interns spend time with parents and children at home, focusing on building skills. They work in collaboration with other St. David's Center staff to ensure that critical goals from the day treatment program transfer to the home setting.
You can help. Your caring contribution helps provide this exceptional support for a family living with autism.
Update from the Field
Donors like you helped 58 children and 231 additional family members benefit from therapeutic intervention and individualized care coordination over the past year. One of those children was Hans (above). Hans' mother was worried. He was a happy, laughing two-year-old boy who would look you in the eye, but had no words. The doctor wasn't worried, yet in the back of her mind, his mother wondered. "It was so hard when he was crying and I didn't know what he wanted," she remembers. Hans was referred for a speech assessment. After multiple days of evaluation through his clinic, the diagnosis was autism. When hearing his diagnosis, Hans' mother was "Devastated. In my country (Peru), autism is out of this world." She was scared. But the clinic recommended St. David's Center autism day treatment program (ADT). St. David's Center helped Hans' mother understand his behaviors and find comfort in the available treatment options and support services. They told her she could seek individual treatment with ABA or ADT, group treatment.
At ADT, everything was new for Hans. Yet after only three days, his mother saw huge improvements. "Now he wakes up, jumps at the door and says 'Go to school!'" Hans is now 3 years old, and his practitioner expects that he will graduate from ADT at the end of summer and attend his school district's preschool in September. For the last two months, he has participated in the inclusion program. "Miss Karen gave me a story book that I read to him every night. It tells him what will happen," said his mother. "He wants to be with the big kids (ages 4 and 5) and laugh with them," she said. "I love my son and see so much progress for him," his mom said as her voice broke. "His therapists are so patient, they love their jobs and they really love my child. Thank you!"
Established in 1961, St. David's Center for Child & Family Development is dedicated to providing services that respond to emerging community needs. Their three core service areas include: early childhood education for children of all abilities; early intervention and treatment for children with developmental needs; and life-phase services for individuals with enduring special needs. Based in Minnetonka, MN, St. David's Center serves more than 2,000 children and their families throughout the Twin Cities Metro area each year.
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