April 2016
Autism/Developmental Disabilities Services, Support, Education and Training
A bi-monthly newsletter to keep you informed about topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities.

Autism Awareness and Autism Acceptance Month
April is Autism Awareness month. This nationwide movement started in the early 70's, and was adopted by Congress in 1984. Initially called Autism Awareness month, many in the autism community are now calling for a change to Autism Acceptance.  Across the country, there will be conferences, walks, and other activities to raise awareness and often funds to help continue research or provide services

YAP is deeply entrenched in advancing the understanding of autism and integration of individuals with autism in our communities. We believe that our model, which takes a relational approach and builds upon preferred interests, is a respectful and effective way to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism.  As you will read below, self-report from families who received YAP services 10 years later reinforces our belief.

YAP will be actively engaged in activities that promote autism awareness and acceptance this month: our offices are offering training on Autism, attending trainings offered by partnered agencies, participating in walks and setting up tables at local expos.

If you are interested in learning more about training available to family or community members, school and direct service professionals, or emergency responders, please contact Ann Branning at abranning@yapinc.org.

Finally, we'd like to extend a special thank you to our YAP staff who advocate, educate and empower around the issue of autism not only in April but throughout the whole year through their work with individuals with autism, their families and communities!
New 10 Year Study on Young Adults with Autism Served by YAP Finds Support for Relational Approach 
YAP is excited to share this recently published study that shows positive data regarding quality of life and supports outcomes for young adults with autism who received YAP services.  The study, done by Robin Ferris and James W. Conroy, followed all of the 128 individuals with autism who began to receive YAP services during the year before the study for 10 years.

The report describes the kinds of young people who were involved with the program, what supports they received, and some early but very strong findings about the outcomes of their involvement. Measures included satisfaction surveys about the present satisfaction with the program, as well as remembered satisfaction before the program. The authors were unable to collect satisfaction measurements before program involvement.

Sesame Street Sees Amazing In ALL Children
The Amazing Song 
The Amazing Song
Check out autism.sesamestreet.org where Sesame Street sees amazing in all children! 
This website uses the beloved characters to explain that all people have differences and we should celebrate the uniqueness of each and every child.  
From songs to routine cards, this is a great new, fresh website.  This site is great for siblings, parents, direct service professionals and educators.
Puzzle Piece Project
puzzle piece Autism Speaks is offering a Puzzle Piece Project. This free toolkit is available to help educate community members and classmates about autism. You must register online to receive the free download of the kit.  The kit can be used over and over again, providing fun and interactive activities throughout the year.  

Zoos Go Blue
A number of zoos around the county are hosting a special zoo day for people with autism and their families on April 28th.  Check it out!