Wednesday, January 30, 2013
OUCARES adds new location to help meet needs of autism community
Oakland University's Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) is opening a second location in which its highly regarded quality of life programs will be provided.
Meadows School, located at 1435 West Auburn Road in Rochester Hills, has already welcomed an expansion of programs currently offered on the Oakland University campus. OUCARES Director Kathy Sweeney said that without cutting or relocating any of the programs available on campus, OUCARES will continue to expand offerings at Meadows School.
"We've demonstrated success with our parents and with the community, and we've had a tremendous response to the autism programs we offer," Sweeney explained. "This opportunity allows us to open more quality of life programs and serve even more people in our community.
As roughly one out of every 88 children born is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), demand for programs, services and support has been growing steadily. In fact, Sweeney estimates that there currently about 2,100 students of age 5-26 in Oakland County alone who have been diagnosed with ASD. This, of course, does not include adults with the disorder or others yet to be diagnosed.
OUCARES serves individuals with ASD and also offers families a wide array of resources, services and support to create the highest quality of life possible for the family as a whole.
Sweeney predicts that as OUCARES continues to widen its community outreach efforts, benefits of the organization's work will extend far beyond individuals with ASD and their families.
"We're working to bring the community more autism awareness and acceptance – through volunteer opportunities, by taking advantage of our programs or just coming in to learn more about autism spectrum disorders," she said
"This opens up more learning experiences for everyone involved. It improves the overall community's quality of life because it improves our collective awareness and acceptance of people impacted with ASD."
To learn more about OUCARES programs offered both on the Oakland University campus and at Meadows School, visit oakland.edu/oucares
or call (248) 370-2424.