Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

A Description of a Community Outreach Program for Children with Autism and Their Families

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

A Description of a Community Outreach Program for Children with Autism and Their Families

Article excerpt

Services for children with autism can be difficult to find and costly for parents. Programs which allow for entire families to attend and participate in a mutually accepting, therapeutic environment are even rarer and are in fact, almost unheard of. This presentation will explore such a service known as the Community Outreach Program, based at MukiBaum Treatment Centres' Center for Ability in Toronto, Canada.

In the Community Outreach Program, families, including parents and siblings, are able to freely participate with their kids in a variety of activities. At first, the impression is that family members are taking care of their children with Autism but as the program evolves in each cycle, the family begins to participate in the program activities in a more equal manner, with the coming to light of the strengths of each member, including those of the child with autism. The outcome of such transformation is the increase of confidence of the child with Autism and the quality of life of the entire family.

The lack of ministerial funding for this program has led to a structure completely dependent upon volunteers and the unique and varied skills each of them brings to the program. …

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