What are some common signs of autism?
Common signs of autism include deficits in social communication, repetitive movements, avoiding eye contact, not understanding social cues, high or low need for sensory input, difficulty with change or transitions. It is important to note that individuals with autism may exhibit some or all of theses characteristics, but each person is different.
I think my son/daughter is autistic. What should I do?
If your child is between the ages of 3-21, and in school, you can contact your local school district and pursue a full case study evaluation. Be sure to ask for Autism rating scales to be done. If your child is under 3 years old, talk to your pediatrician. They should have an autism screening they can do. (I would specifically mention the MCHAT so they know what to ask for). If not, ask your doctor for a referral to have evaluations completed. The three areas usually tested are speech/language development, motor skills (fine motor and sensory), and social skills. Some local agencies such as Easter Seals, Skills Sprout, Total Spectrum, and The Antioch Group can also perform diagnostic testing.
I’m an adult, and I think I have autism. What should I do?
There is an adult diagnostic doctor specially for autism in Peoria. Her name is Dr. Theresa Regan and she accepts individuals ages 15 and older. She is in the OSF network and her phone number is 309-655-7378. Check with your insurance provider, as you may need a referral from your Primary Care Provider.
Our school says that they do not provide ESY (Extended School Year) services. How do I get my child into a program?
There are guidelines for ESY. If the IEP team feels the child needs ESY, then a program should be made available for the student. If the district does not provide one, then the district can contact other districts to see if there are openings in their program for an “out of district” student. Also, there are some programs offered by the park district for special needs students that may be beneficial such as the Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association.
Are there any social skills groups for my child in the area?
There are a few agencies in the tri-county area that offer social skills groups. Easter Seals in Peoria (1-309-686-1177), The Antioch Group (1-309-692-6622), and Skill Sprout (1-800-773-1682). Please contact us for a more updated list as social skills groups often change with the seasons.
Where does all of your money that you fundraise go?
We are proud to say that we keep all of our money local! We give our grants to local families, therapists, teachers, and more. Please see our grant application for more information. Some of our fund do go to operating costs but those are limited to things like stamps and awareness items. We have an all volunteer board so that our funds are able to go back into the community.
Are there any groups for adults with Aspergers or Level 1 autism?
Yes! We currently have a young adults with Asperger’s group! Please see our event calendar or contact us for the next meeting.