Navigating Resources in the Autism Community

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 54 children are on the Autism Spectrum. As World Autism Month comes to a close, it is essential to remember that there are many resources families can access at the local, state, and national level year-round. These resources make a huge difference in the quality of life for those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Among organizations that serve young adults with ASD is the HDS Foundation (HDSF). I had the opportunity to speak with Cristina Miranda Gilson, Chairman and President of the HDS Foundation. She shared that, as the parent of a college senior on the Autism Spectrum, the journey is often overwhelming for parents and family members, as well as the individuals affected.

Each child’s situation is different, and today there are many resources available that provide information and services, but these are not always the right fit.  The family must plan ahead and navigate the school system, medical needs, therapeutic and psychological needs, not to mention social, living, and other conditions affecting their child.  The layers of information and requirements are daunting at times. The parent becomes an advocate, caretaker, counselor and takes on many other roles.  This can take an enormous toll on the family.

Cristina strongly believes that there is a need to compartmentalize this journey and manage the information on hand today.  One of the missions of the HDS Foundation is to help parents and students create a toolbox comprised of the resources that best apply to them—this allows the family to make better choices.  Cristina feels that although the number of resources and outcomes for this population has increased tremendously, the downside is the ability to navigate them.  This affects the child and family as well as the teachers, educational facilitators, and others who support this population in the K-12 setting and in preparation for their post-secondary journey.

The HDS Foundation focuses on the older teens and young adult populations, as the transition into and future outcomes in adulthood depend on how they navigate their journey during these years. They have so many possibilities for their future, but it takes a village to get them there. Through the HDS Foundation website, you can now access a library of resources by categories and learn about new programs and upcoming events.  The Foundation even offers a tool that helps you compare resources, making it easier to find the right fit. HDSF hopes to keep working with the high schools and post-secondary programs working with businesses big and small through community-based collaborations to make this happen.

Like Cristina, I, too, have an adult child on the Autism Spectrum. Our son Devin’s milestones have been different from others, but he’s moving forward in his life. We are incredibly proud of the responsible adult he has become.  Like many other young adults, he is working to make his dreams a reality one day at a time.  We need to continue to support other young people like him by giving them the proper tools to create rewarding and fulfilling lives.

 

Related content:

Fashionably Ready For A Cause…Rock on 4 Autism

Hispanic Business Mom Launches JOY Foundation

World Autism Awareness Day and ASD in the Latino Community

RELATED POSTS

Hispanic Heritage- A Wise Man’s Life Story Lives On

Hispanic Heritage- A Wise Man’s Life Story Lives On

For Hispanic Heritage Month Dr. Eduardo Montaña Jr. remembers his Colombian born father who made a difference in the rural U.S. A wise man once said that to live a meaningful life a man must raise a child, build a house, plant a tree and write a book.  Men often live...

Is Your Business Keeping you Up?

Is Your Business Keeping you Up?

Sleep is not only core to your health, but also the health of your business productivity “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” —Annie Dillard I’m sure we’ve all encountered in our day to day living certain people who look, feel and behave much...

Polls

Sign Up for the Latin Biz Today Newsletter

Video Gallery

PR Newswire

Featured Authors

Money

Talent/HR

Legal

Marketing

Never Forget the Personal Touch

Never Forget the Personal Touch

Reach out to your current customers and prospects– especially if you are a small business. I have owned my own business for almost for many years – and I find it is a constant learning experience. One thing that I have learned that has benefitted my business is that...

Strategy

Is Your Small Business Resilient Enough?

Is Your Small Business Resilient Enough?

The ability to quickly adapt, recover and reinvigorate in business is a constant requirement   "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot ... and I missed. I...

Fashion

Food

Music

Sports

Innovation

Work, Life & Culture

Culture

Health & Fitness

Travel & Destinations

Personal Blogs

Pin It on Pinterest