Autism Delaware announced June 10 that five service organizations will receive grants to support their innovative community programs. The 2013 Autism Delaware grant recipients are Easter Seals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Practice Without Pressure, Ocean Front Counseling, Georgetown Elementary School and the Organization for Autism Research.
Easter Seals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore - a nonprofit, community-based health organization dedicated to increasing the independence of children and adults with special needs through direct services and advocacy - will use the funding to provide respite care vouchers to families caring for people with autism spectrum disorders. Vouchers are administered by a standing committee of the Delaware Lifespan Respite Care Network, which Easter Seals represents as the lead fiscal agency. Families can use a voucher to pay the service provider of their choice, when and where they choose.
Practice Without Pressure, a Delaware-based nonprofit that helps people with disabilities receive oral healthcare with dignity and respect, was awarded a grant to expand its Oral Health in the Home training program to Kent County. Designed to help caregivers and families improve tooth-brushing, flossing and oral healthcare for children and adults with ASDs and other disabilities, this course empowers the family while teaching new skills that make oral healthcare easier to support. The class will be held in partnership with the John S. Charlton School in Camden.
Berlin, Md.-based Ocean Front Counseling LLC, which provides autism and behavioral support services, will create Get Fit with Ocean Front, an exercise program for people with ASDs and their families in southern Delaware. Ocean Front Counseling will partner with a local fitness club where a trained exercise instructor will provide exercise and yoga classes. In addition to physical benefits, the program is designed to reduce maladaptive behaviors and anxiety in social settings and to improve motor coordination in the participants.
Georgetown Elementary School in Georgetown was awarded a grant to set up and organize a series of meetings with parents in conjunction with Project SPEAK, an ongoing program designed to help children with ASDs to acquire social skills through community outings. Guest speakers will provide information about the care of children with ASDs and highlight the resources available to parents.
Organization for Autism Research - a national charity that uses applied science to answer the questions faced daily by individuals with ASDs, their parents, families, teachers and caregivers - was awarded a grant to fund research studies and publish community-friendly resource guides.
“Autism Delaware supports innovative programs with the potential to improve the lives of both children and adults across their life spans and across the state,” said Teresa Avery, MBA, Autism Delaware’s executive director. “We look forward to hearing about each program’s success in the coming year as well as to watching the improvement to the lives of Delawareans with autism and their families.”
Autism Delaware’s grants support community organizations that align with the autism agency’s goals and mission, which is to create better lives for Delawareans with ASDs and their families. To be eligible for a grant, an organization must explain how the grant funds will specifically impact the autism community in Delaware, submitting a detailed budget.
Autism Delaware’s programs and services are supported by state contracts and generous donations from individuals and corporations across Delaware.
For more information on autism and how to help, visit autismdelaware.org.