Renee Henderson

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E-mail: nasya06@msn.com

 

About Us

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.  Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Autism, more prevalent than initially first thought, is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined.  Approximately one in 100 children born in the United States will be identified with a form of autism by the time they are three years old.  It is statistics like these and the effects autism has on families that compel ASP parents to seek out each other and provide resources to meet the ongoing needs of their children.

Autism Sharing and Parenting (ASP) is a volunteer-run, community-based organization that started in 2003 . ASP is a unique in that it leadership are parents and it   provides training and resources to help parents learn about their child.   This organization started by Renee Henderson as a parent support group.  Renee provides therapeutic interventions for her daughter who is on the spectrum.  She was successful in teaching her daughter most of her academic skills and language.   In order for her to be effective at doing this she attends training and purchases therapeutic supplies and books.  Although her daughter had severe language delays, she taught t her to read, write, spell, add and subtract and multiply.  She even taught her how to write in cursive and to use her reading skills to learn to communicate.  She felt that parents should be aware of the potential in their children in order to properly advocate for them.  ASP uses volunteer parent presenters, volunteer professional presenters and paid presenters.  Our parent presenters also volunteer to present at other organizations.

Parenting a child with autism is different. Of course, there are many similarities to parenting “typical” children, but there are skills and techniques a parent needs to effectively parent a child with autism. This may range from encouraging them to play and interact with their peers to teaching functional communication to managing behavior. The therapeutic interventions that our children receive require a different perspective. As parents we are our children’s first teachers and because of that some of us use verbal behavior, floor time, sensory integration and applied behavior as part of our parenting skills.  Although our children have various therapists working with them, at the end of the day they are home with us.  Our biggest task is not to seek more and more services, but to be in the position where we can help our children and be empowered to advocate for quality services.