Autism Support of Kent County (ASK) works to provide services that make it possible for individuals with autism to lead healthier and more productive lives! ASK funds programs, worth over $70,000 annually, for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families!
We offer Music Therapy to any ASD classroom in the KISD system. As space and resources allow, we fund Music Therapy for classrooms for one time per month. Therapy is contracted through the Franciscan Life Process Center.
Project Lifesaver is part of an international non-profit organization that places a tracking device on an individual with autism. In the event that the individuals wanders off and becomes lost, the Kent County Sheriff Department is better able to locate the individual using the Project Lifesaver receiving equipment.
SPECIAL ART AND SPORTS PROGRAMS:
As need and interest dictates, we fund special programs for music art, soccer, and hockey.
SPECIAL AUTISM NIGHTS AT THE CIVIC THEATRE AND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM:
We have partnered with the Civic Theatre and the Children’s Museum to offer an annual autism-only event. These events allow families to experience the museum and the theatre in a very special and comfortable way.
The 2020 Civic Theatre Performance will be “Frozen”!
ANNUAL WALK FOR AUTISM AND RESOURCE FAIR:
Annually, we hold our fundraising Walk for Autism, where we gather as a community of autism. Over 600 people attend, and over 20 autism businesses showcase their organizations. This event takes place at the John Ball Park and Zoo.
MONTHLY FAMILY EVENTS:
We offer monthly events that are fun, sensory-sensitive, and geared to people with autism. These events can be attended by the individual with autism and their whole family. They are open to anyone. They are low cost, so they are affordable.
Events include a Holiday Party, Roller Skating, Bowling, Visit to the Orchard, Pool Party, SkyZone, Art Workshops, Dance & Drumming Workshop, Easter Egg Hunt, and more.
SUPPORT FOR PARENTS:
In addition to our extensive Community Resource Directory, we host a monthly Support Group for parents, caregivers, grandparents, and professionals. The group typically has a speaker and offers many opportunities for networking, fellowship, and questions and answers.
SUPPORT FOR SCHOOLS AND FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY OUTINGS FOR LOW INCOME STUDENTS:
Getting out into the community is critical to help individuals with autism devleop independence and social skills. We fund outings for students who live at or below the poverty line, so that they can go out into the community and develop important life skills.
Additionally, we offer real life work skills opportunities for the GRPS Transition Program, as we ask them to help us with clerical tasks.
We fund two annual memberships to the Grand Rapids Public Museum for use by autism classrooms, and we offer start-up funds for supplies for new autism classrooms.
SOCIAL CONNECTION FOR TEENS, YOUNG ADULTS AND ADULTS WITH AUTISM:
In addition to our Puzzle Partners Program, we offer monthly activities for teens, young adults and adults with autism.
Puzzle Partners is our friendship/social group for teens and young adults who have high-functioning autism, or some other social impairment. Through monthly meetings, we create a safe space for teens and young adults to belong, try new things, make friends, and expand their horizons. To stay connected, “like” Puzzle Partners on Facebook!
FUNDS FOR ADDITIONAL STAFFING FOR THE HELEN DEVOS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AUTISM CLINIC:
We are proud to have participated in a five year capital campaign with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to contribute funds to provide additional staff at the clinic. This has decreased the wait time for a diagnosis of autism from 6 months to three weeks!
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SUMMER CAMP AT INDIAN TRAILS CAMP:
We fund scholarships for individuals with autism to attend camp at Indian Trails Camp.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Pam Liggett, ASK Executive Director.
Pam’s cell phone is 616-822-0944. ASK Voicemail is 616-752-8577.
Our email address is email@example.com
MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Autism Support of Kent County, Inc. meets the first Monday of every month during the school year at the ASK Office, 2505 Ardmore SE, Grand Rapids 49506.
(Dates subject to change. See Events page for more information.)
The 2018-2019 Board of Directors
Dr. Richard Elias, DDS - President
Doug Domine - Vice President
Mary Kay Anderson - Treasurer
Jenny Harrell - Secretary
Board of Directors
Pam Liggett, Executive Director
Celia Andrus, Communications
Dr. Tony Richtsmeier