WHAT: Co-sponsored by Autism Speaks and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and hosted in partnership with Union County, City of Elizabeth, Elizabeth Public School District, Elizabeth Board of Education, and Moving New Jersey Forward Foundation, the goal of the Family Services Town Hall is to bring together young adults with autism, families, adult service providers and state resources in a positive and collaborative atmosphere.
This town hall will focus on the transition of young adults on the autism spectrum from adolescence into adulthood. The guiding principle is simple: we believe that all individuals with autism, regardless of the level of support needed, should be able to live fulfilling lives with purpose, dignity, and happiness.
The panel will include advocates, experts and service providers, all of whom are educated and knowledgeable about adult autism services in New Jersey. The goal is to provide attendees with the opportunity to explore the supports available to them, and develop an individualized plan to suit his/her needs. The Resource Fair will include agencies that provide services for young adults and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, not limited solely to transition.
WHO: SPONSORS: Autism Speaks
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez
PANELISTS: Autism Speaks (New York, New York)
EPIC Schools (Paramus, New Jersey)
Division of Developmental Disabilities (Hamilton, New Jersey)
Elizabeth Board of Education – Moderator (Elizabeth, New Jersey)
WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 2016
9:15 am Registration
9:30 am Panel Discussion and Q&A
11:30am Resource Fair
WHERE: Ronald Reagan Academy | School No. 30
730 Pennsylvania Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07201
WHY: The transition from school-aged supports into adulthood can be challenging for people with autism and other disabilities. In the U.S., an estimated 50,000 youth with autism leave high school each year, but many are unprepared to find suitable housing, employment, or post-secondary options. At Autism Speaks, our goal is to provide individuals with autism and their families with all the tools they need throughout the lifespan. Transition planning, which includes all facets of a young adult’s life, needs to be dynamic and begin early in adolescence. Adults living with autism often have difficulty finding information about programs and supports that would allow them to live as independently as possible. Transition will be different for each family, but the goal remains the same: for every person with autism to lead a fulfilling, healthy, and happy life.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $570 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visitwww.AutismSpeaks.org.