The Patience S. Latting Northwest Library will host an Autism Advocacy series this October with four free sessions for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
Librarian Becky Fesler created the series to provide an informative, welcoming atmosphere where community members can meet and share information. The issue is personal for Fesler, who’s watched a family member deal with both the triumphs and struggles of being on the spectrum.
“I know how vital it is to see representation, to hear from others who have been in similar situations and to feel understood and accepted for who you are,” said Fesler. “Speakers for each event include professionals working in areas related to developmental disabilities and disorders as well as individuals on the autism spectrum.”
The first session on Oct. 3 will highlight autism identification and advocacy, answering questions for families with newly-diagnosed children, connecting parents with local resources and providing expertise from other parents further in their journeys. Session two on Oct. 5 will cover adults with autism in the workplace with an opportunity for participants to discuss the hiring process, communicating with coworkers and requesting accommodations at work.
Session three on Oct. 10 focuses on the school-age years with a discussion about special education rights, including the ins and outs of IEP and 504 plans. The final session on Oct. 17 will be about teenagers on the spectrum, including how parents can assist in the transition from childhood to adulthood and empower teens to advocate for themselves.