Mission: Autism Pensacola began serving Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Northwest Florida in 2002. The non-profit association of parents, professionals and concerned community members is dedicated to supporting, advocating, educating, networking and providing hope for people affected by autism and related disorders of communication and behavior along the Gulf Coast. The goals of Autism Pensacola are: - To educate the general public about autism To serve as a support group for parents and professionals - To provide information to parents and professionals regarding the diagnosis, education and treatment of persons with autism - To obtain better services for the citizens of the Pensacola area who are affected by autism - To provide social opportunities for those with autism through camps and other activities
Programs: Kids for camp is an intensive educational opportunity for skills acquisition and positive behavior support based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. Approximately 70 campers work on their assessed individual needs in both classroom and community settings while having fun with their peers. Teachers learn best practice skills and carry them back to the classroom. Project lifesaver in partnership with escambia search & rescue features bracelets for individuals who at risk of wandering away. This is one aspect of our safety program which also offers training to both parents and professionals on dealing with individuals with autism in emergency situations. See schedule o. The parent empowerment program (pep) is a multi week class that teaches parents how to understand their child and to help the child communicate and manage their behavior more effectively. Pep includes group classes along with individual classes with a board certified behavior analyst and also an educational support consultant. After the completion of the class, participants may apply for an ipad grant and receive support to purchase an ipad for their child. Parent partner support program offers individualized classes on navagating the iep process for those in special education as well as working more effectively as a partner in a child's education. An educational consultant meets with and trains parents in both small group and individualized classes to achieve these goals autism pensacola improves the lives of those with autism through member services which includes: peer guidance/information via phone and in person regarding area resources and school services. Support for awareness in schools. Resource fair at sacred heart hospital attended by over 32 organizations and over 70 families. Childcare events in parnership with local churches. Published four newsletters, maintaining website and social media information. Annual picnic attended by 30 families and community members. Various day time networking opportunities held around the area with average attendance of 8 per location. Various informational meetings/workshops averaging 25 attendees with childcare/social activities for children and teens with autism. Grandparents group meetings monthly (averaging 6 attendees). Christmas party, respite and support programs in partnership with other organizations.