WROC-TV: Autism Fair Supports Families

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) – This year’s Autism Awareness Fair will be held at the Wolf Life Transitions Center in Webster on Friday, April 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Taryn Mullen, the Vice President of Marketing for CDS Life Transitions, discussed what the Fair will offer individuals and families and the year round services at CDS Life Transitions Wednesday during News 8 at Noon.

“We’re really excited,” said Mullen about Friday’s Autism Awareness Fair. “This is an event that’s open to the general public. We invite families, those who have loved-ones who are on the Autism spectrum, and the general community to come out and join us at the fair. We have a lot of kid and family-friendly activities happening. They’re going to have swimming. We have a pool at the Wolf Life Transition Center with a lifeguard, who will be on staff that evening, so bring your swim suit. They can do kinetic sand-making. We’re going to have a fire truck there from the Webster Fire Department for the kids to explore. We are going to have a lot of resources there available as well, along with other local non-profits who provide support services for families and loved-ones with autism, so families can come out and get some more information. We just encourage people to come to learn a little bit more about autism. A lot of us know somebody, even if it’s not in your immediate family, but you may know somebody who is living with autism spectrum disorder. It’s just a great opportunity to come together as a community — provide some education — and a little bit of fun.”

Beyond the fair, Mullen said CDS Life Transitions offers year round support for individuals and families. “CDS has quite a long history of providing supports for, not just developmental disabilities, but those with autism, specifically. We were one of the first in New York State to open a residence specifically for adults with autism spectrum disorder. We still have that residence in operation today. We also have an autism skill-building program, which is meant for children. It’s an after school program, for two hours, everyday, Monday through Friday. Kids, ages six to 18, can come out and participate. It’s recreational type activities where they work on social skill-building. They learn coping mechanisms for how to interact when they’re out in the community. For example, they might go out on a field trip to some place where they learn how to go into a restaurant, sit down and order something from the menu and interact with the server or other people in the restaurant. It’s an opportunity for them to develop social skills, not just with their peers, but also with the community in general.”

She added, “We also offer parent support programs, and also ‘Sib Shops.’ Those are for siblings of children with developmental disabilities. Those are groups that meet a couple of times each month. For the parents, it’s really networking, support, training and education resources. They’re brought in to help educate them about what’s currently trending as it relates to disability services and supports that are available to them. It’s just to provide a place for parents to talk and share stories, tips, tricks and those kinds of things. For the siblings, it’s really a recreational opportunity to come and interact with children their own age, and to share in some of those experiences as well.”

Watch the video HERE >>

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