Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

April 18, 2012

Letters - Thursday, April 19, 2012

— Many know someone who has autism

April is recognized as National Autism Awareness Month. This month provides a special opportunity for individuals and agencies like Bona Vista Programs to educate others about autism. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder. Many of us know somebody who has autism, whether we are aware of it or not. During the month of April, consider the following tips from Indiana’s Autism Leadership Network on interacting with peers who are on the autism spectrum:

• Use literal, concise instructions. Avoid sarcastic phrases that can be misunderstood.

• Approach the person quietly from the side to avoid startling them. Their peripheral vision is well-tuned, and this gives them time to process the information that tells them you are approaching.

• Use a calm tone of voice when speaking.

• Give the person plenty of time to respond to a question before asking it again.

• Know the person’s signs of anxiety and stress. These could include pacing, hand-wringing, mumbling and more. Approach the person with a supportive attitude when these signs are being displayed.

Bona Vista offers programs to help those with autism spectrum disorder. Bona Vista has a special education half-day preschool which serves children ages 3 to 5. All classes are developed by Indiana-licensed teachers and instructional assistants.

Children attend Monday through Friday, and their time is focused on many areas of skills development. Many children who attend the Special Education Preschool also receive on-site group and individual therapy through our Positive Results for Kids division. All classes offer integrated programming and public school coordination.

To learn more, call Keys for Kids in Kokomo at 765-457-8273 or Keys for Kids in Peru at 765-473-6744. Online registration is also available at www.bonavista.org. You can also schedule a tour at any time to learn about all the great things that Bona Vista does in the community by calling 765-457-8273.

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