OUCARES Annual Family Fun Day supports autism effort

Lisa LaGrou www.Mommy-Network.com

We attended the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) annual Family Fun Day on Sunday. It is an event put on by the Autism Society - Oakland County Chapter. Every year in the Recreation and Athletics Center at OU, they set up stimulating activities such as a bouncer room, a sensory room (staffed by professionals from Kaufman Children's Center), arts and crafts, a caricature artist, swimming,

and vendor tables... all for free. The kids had a great time, and the families learned about the autism resources available to them. The vendors promoted their services and provided a wealth of resources for families of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It was interesting to learn about everything that is offered locally to help kids on the spectrum.

We walked through the vendor section after the kids got tired out on the bouncers. I learned about Pump It Up's monthly sensory jump night (Auburn Hills 248-375-1100 and Shelby Twp. 586-416-4386 www.pumpitupparty.com); Belightful Yoga for children with special needs (248-761-6815 www.belightfulyoga.com); therapeutic horseback riding with O.A.T.S. (248-620-0505 www.oatshrh.org); Martial Arts Therapy (248-684-9610 www.kimpediatrics.com); the Judson Center's services (248-837-2047 www.judsoncenter.org/autism_connections); OUCARES' summer camp, therapies, events and workshops (www.oakland.edu/oucares); and much more.

Although health insurance is not supportive in covering these services, at least these services exist and provide options for families to get care. Early intervention is key. And, these are the services that have been proven to work. Horseback riding has been proven to bring out speech in otherwise non-communicative individuals. Occupational therapy helped our son with sensory issues and improved his speech indirectly as well. Each of these therapies and programs holds value and helps in their own way.

Next month is Autism Awareness month. Look for our local events listing coming soon on www.OaklandCountyMoms.com.


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