UNION, NJ – The Township of Union’s Americans with Disabilities Act Committee held their first ‘Jazzed Up for Autism’ event at Calesa Restaurant last week.

Featuring a presentation from Adrienne Robertiello from Children’s Specialized Hospital, the message of the evening was understanding, inclusion and support of people with autism and their families.

“There’s a decreased level of social interaction for people with autism and their families,” said Robertiello.  “They may not know how to play games the way others do, there may be some exclusion or bullying.  Whatever we can do to help adapt programs and promote inclusion is really important.”

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Autism is a multi-faceted disorder that affects a person's ability to community, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment.  As a result of these challenges, many people with autism find it difficult to join in community activities, interactions and gatherings.

Offering guidance on interacting with people with autism, Robertiello said ask first is help is needed.  "Don't automatically assume they need help, but ask what type of help they might need."  Robertiello said people with autism tend to have a high rate of wondering and have a significant attraction to water.  "These are two significant safety aspects of the diagnosis that I have to emphasize that we need to keep our eyes and ears open for."

The Gordon James Trio providing entertainment after the presentation.