If you are the parent of a child with autism, or if you suspect that your child may have autism, you may be wondering where to turn for help. The good news is that there are many resources available in Utah for families affected by autism. This article will provide an overview of some of the most important resources available in our state.
What is Autism
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an important first step in finding the right help for your child. The National Institute of Mental Health provides detailed information about ASD, and there are numerous books and websites devoted to the topic. Autism is a lifelong disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. For example, some children may have difficulty interacting with people, understanding social cues, or controlling their impulses.
SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD MIGHT HAVE AUTISM
If you suspect that your child may have autism, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a list of common warning signs, including difficulty with social interaction, communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and sensory issues. Also, keep in mind that every child is different – so if you notice any unusual behavior or changes in your child’s development, it’s important to talk to a doctor.
If you believe that your child may have autism, the first step is to get an evaluation from a trained professional. In Utah, you can find certified providers at the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities or through local county health departments.
Autism Resources in Utah
If your child has been diagnosed with autism, there are many services available to help you manage the disorder and provide the best possible care for your child. The Utah Autism Coalition provides a list of resources on their website, including specialized schools, autism programs and services, support groups, and more. Additionally, the state of Utah offers various types of financial assistance through Medicaid and other programs.
AUTISM RESEARCH IN UTAH
In addition to providing services to families, Utah also has a robust research program dedicated to understanding and treating autism. The University of Utah is leading the way in this regard, with numerous ongoing studies into the causes of ASD and potential treatments. Additionally, the Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) Program provides families with information about local resources, updates on current research, and more.
There are many support groups available in Utah specifically designed for families dealing with autism. These support groups offer an invaluable opportunity to connect with other parents who are going through similar experiences. They also often provide information about resources and services available in the community. These groups can be found through local hospitals and autism organizations, including the Utah Autism Coalition.
Utah offers a variety of therapeutic services that can help your child learn important skills and cope with their condition.
- Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists work with children to help them become independent and enhance their functioning in everyday activities.
- Speech Therapy: Speech therapists can help your child improve their communication skills, from understanding others to speaking more clearly themselves.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): ABA is a type of therapy that focuses on teaching positive behaviors through rewards and repetition. It can be used to help children learn social skills, as well as academic skills.
Kids On The Move is a leading provider in Utah for autism resources. Their services include Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. In addition to these standard therapies, there are also other therapeutic approaches that may be beneficial for your child, such as music therapy or sensory integration therapy. Talk to your doctor about which types of therapies might work best for your child.
Utah is home to several specialized schools and programs that cater to the unique needs of children with autism. There are also many resources available for parents who want to educate their children at home or in mainstream classrooms. The Utah State Board of Education can provide information about local programs and services. For example, they can help parents find special education programs in their area as well as provide information about Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with autism.
There are a number of state and federal programs that provide financial assistance to families with children on the autism spectrum. These programs can help cover the cost of medical care, therapy services, educational expenses, and more. The Division of Services for People with Disabilities is a great resource for learning about available assistance. For example, they offer Medicaid and the Autism Waiver Program (AWP), both of which provide financial assistance to eligible individuals. Additionally, families may be able to access tuition vouchers through their local school district or other programs.
There are several government organizations that provide support to families affected by autism in Utah. The Utah Department of Health houses the Office of Autism and Newborn Screening. This office provides resources to families and professionals, including a statewide referral system, educational materials, information on insurance coverage for autism-related services and more. Also, the Utah Autism Coalition is a great resource for families, providing advocacy and support, as well as access to local resources.
Numerous organizations in Utah provide education, advocacy, and support for families living with autism. These include Autism Speaks, The Foundation for Exceptional Children, The Utah Autism Coalition, and Kids On The Move. Each organization serves different needs within the community and offers different types of assistance. Visit their websites to learn more about what each organization has to offer.
UTAH AUTISM FOUNDATION
The Utah Autism Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to individuals with autism and their families. They offer educational programs, family counseling, financial assistance, recreational activities, advocacy services, and more. For example, the foundation provides scholarships for children with autism to attend camps and summer programs. They also offer support groups and other educational resources. Visit their website to learn more about their services and how they can help your family.
AUTISM LEARNING CENTERS
There are several autism-specialized learning centers across the state that provide comprehensive services for children with autism and their families. These centers typically offer a variety of therapies including speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral intervention, and more. For example, the Autism Treatment Center of Utah offers comprehensive autism treatment, including evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plans. Visit their website to find a center near you.
UTAH STATE OFFICE OF EDUCATION
The Utah State Office of Education offers numerous resources for parents of children with special needs in the form of individualized education plans (IEPs), early childhood interventions, transition planning services and more. For example, the office provides information on special education and related services, as well as referrals to local programs. Additionally, they offer resources for teachers and administrators working with students with autism in both traditional classrooms and special education classrooms. Visit their website for more information.
UTAH AUTISM NETWORK
The Utah Autism Network (UAN) is a statewide organization that provides support and resources to families affected by autism. UAN offers educational materials, advocacy assistance, referrals to qualified providers and other services. For example, they provide information on evidence-based treatments and interventions, as well as information about financial assistance programs. Visit their website to learn more about the services they offer.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES
If your child is experiencing mental health issues related to their autism, you may want to consider seeking the help of a professional. In Utah, there are numerous behavioral health centers that offer therapeutic services tailored specifically for children with autism and their families.
Tips On What To Do Next
1. Educate yourself about autism and the available services in Utah.
2. Get an evaluation from a certified provider to determine if your child has autism.
3. Utilize resources such as the Utah Autism Coalition website to find local programs and services that may be beneficial for your family.
4. Look into options for financial assistance and health insurance coverage to help cover the cost of treatments.
5. Seek out support groups, both in-person or online, to connect with other families living with autism.
6. Contact your local school district to find out what special education services are available for your child.
7. Speak with a healthcare professional or behavioral health provider to find out how to best manage your child’s symptoms and behaviors.
8. Keep up to date on new research and treatments related to autism.
9. Advocate for your child’s rights and access to services.
10. Utilize the resources from nonprofit organizations that specialize in autism to find more information and support.
11. Reach out to local legislators and ask them to support legislation that will improve access and services for individuals with autism.
12. Participate in events or fundraisers for organizations that provide assistance for those living with autism.
By familiarizing yourself with the resources and services available in Utah, you can ensure that your child is receiving the best care possible. Every child is unique, so it’s important to research all available options and find which ones work best for your family. With dedication and perseverance, you can make a difference in your child’s life.
Kids On The Move in Orem, UT provides extensive resources, therapy, early intervention, and Applied Behavior Analysis for children with autism spectrum disorder. Learn about and apply for our Autism Center HERE.