DENVER -- For almost 50 years, there’s been a group in Denver championing for people with autism and their families. The Autism Society of Colorado is known as the “go-to” organization for people with questions about the neurological condition and in need of guidance.
“Improve the opportunity for people with autism and to interact with the general community,” explained board president Kathryn Dran. She says people with autism are all around us.
“If you know seven people, and most people know seven people, then you know someone affected by autism,” she added. One in 68 people are diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dran’s son is part of that statistic. She said it affects her son’s ability to communicate in a fluent, and fluid casual manner. He was diagnosed at age six. Her other son does not have autism, but as a mom she wants the same for both.
“I want both of them to have as much opportunity, to engage in what they are really awesome at,” she explained.
Throughout the years the society has pushed for giving those with autism opportunities to learn, work, and play. In the 1970s they fought to make sure autistic kids can attend public schools and receive the extra help they need. Dran said research shows early intervention is critical.
“They are better able at a later age to integrate to new challenges like job interviews and continuing education,” she added.
Now the group is looking to the next phase in life. The society is working with employers to educate them about autism and how those with the condition can be a valued employee.
It’s all to create a world where those like Dran’s son, can live a full and satisfying life.
The group holds events throughout the year that cater specifically to an autistic audience. They also hold educational events that bring families and employment and education opportunities together. For more information on events and the society visit their website.
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