Kennedy Center receives $20,000 grant for autism project

The Kennedy Center’s Autism Project recently received a $20,000 grant from the John H. and Ethel G. Nobel Charitable Trust, administered by the Deutsche Bank Trust Company, N.A., to provide behavioral services to families with children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through two new community outreach programs.

This grant will target families in the Greater Bridgeport area to access the professional services of a behaviorist, who will develop a behavior plan for families in the home and/or community. In addition, this funding will enable the Autism Project to pilot three workshops for families on positive behavioral strategies for children with ASD.

Specifically, a behaviorist will provide a functional behavioral assessment through which the strengths and needs of children with ASD and their families will be observed and evaluated. A behavior plan will be developed to include specific strategies to reduce identified behaviors. The behaviorist will then work with each family two hours a week for a period of three to five months. For up to one year, the behaviorist will make periodic visits and provide consultation, support, and further modifications to the plan as needed.

In addition to behavioral services, The Kennedy Center will host three community workshops for families and their children with ASD. The behavioral and autism team will design and present workshops on positive behavioral strategies to at least 50 participants.

In 2006, The Kennedy Center created The Autism Project in response to the growing number of children with ASD and the critical need to provide financial support for these underfunded services. The Autism Project provides a host of social activity groups, respite services, recreation and sibling groups, family supports services and information/referral services to over 300 children and families in the Greater Bridgeport community. This program has grown and expanded over the years due to high demand.

“We are extremely grateful to the John H. and Ethel G. Nobel Charitable Trust, administered by the Deutsche Bank Trust Company, N.A., which has generously contributed to these vital programs to families with children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” said Martin D. Schwartz, President and CEO of The Kennedy Center. “With the prevalence of children being diagnosed with ASD, these services are needed now more than ever.”

The Kennedy Center is a nationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves 2,400 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 26 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs.

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