Autism Alliance of Michigan!
Our team at SHARE Detroit is happy to have an organization with the mission and reputation of Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAOMI) as a part of our platform. We are grateful for the opportunity to “share” more about their important work with our community.
To start, it may be helpful for some to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in order to comprehend the impact AAoM has on the individuals they serve.
ASD is a neurobiological disorder that typically affects development within the first three years of life. It is characterized by deficits and symptoms such as impaired ability to communicate, impaired social interaction, restricted and/or repetitive interests and sensory issues relating to over or under sensory stimulation.
There are a variety of characteristics of Autism and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children be screened at well-child visits for autism and other developmental disabilities at 18 and 24 months. Screening at this early age permits intensive early intervention that can improve long-term outcomes for ASD.
While the number of individuals in our country who have been diagnosed with an ASD (1 in 68) may seem high, the AAoM website also reports there are approximately 16,590 children in Michigan public schools with ASD, and in 2007, Michigan had the 5thlargest autism population compared to other states in the U.S.. Through the services provided through AAoM, they hope to guide people with autism to lead lives that meet their greatest potential. Their mission is to lead efforts to raise expectations and expand opportunities for people touched by autism across the lifespan.
In order to meet the goals of their mission, they have identified six pillars of focus which provide great insight into what makes up their organization:
Navigation – Through AAoM you connect to a free lifelong guide with professional help and answers for anyone touched by autism.
- Education – Services offered through AAoM provide comprehensive education to families and the community, while advocating at the statewide level for safe and inclusive education environments to foster independence.
- Employment – maximize employment opportunities for individuals of all abilities across industries through innovation and corporate partnerships.
- Special Education – Improve special education outcomes in Michigan through individual, grassroots and system-wide reform efforts.
- Independent Living – AAoM drives initiatives that allow individuals with autism to attain the independent or supported living they choose, such as transportation, college, housing and insurance.
- The newest pillar is online, web-based family, caregiving and community education on topics geared to the target population’s specific needs.
You can learn more about their efforts by visiting their page on SHARE Detroit.
And the AAoM Annual Gala is coming up on September 11th with options for virtual or in-person attendance. This is a great opportunity to get involved with their mission and enjoy a night out or festive night at home to support a wonderful cause!