A group in Fort McMurray is looking to set up more supports for children with autism.
President of the Autism Society of Wood Buffalo Kirsty Mardell tells Mix News during evacuation her family took advantage of many services offered to them while in Red Deer.
Mardell notes since these services weren’t available in our region, they were reluctant to return.
“What our community is looking at is basically people leaving if we don’t get the supports we need, and it’s not just for people in Fort McMurray but all the communities.”
The society is already getting positive responses from families in the region.
Mardell says the group is already helping families who would not have access otherwise.
“I was on the phone today with a lady, who, if I wasn’t doing the ambassador part, she would’ve had nobody to call, she would be dealing with her situation on her own right now and nobody should have to be by themselves, nobody should have to feel alone.”
She adds their big goal is to have an Autism Service Centre in the region.
“If we could get an autism service center here, anybody with a disability or a delay or need would be able to access that support at the center.”
Meanwhile, Mardell notes they have a lot of events planned, from swim days at Mac Island to the first ever Autism Awareness Art Gala. The funds raised from the event will go towards programs they already have on the go, like their lending shelf program, which gives families a chance to try out sensory toys that are meant to stimulate or calm down children with autism.
Tickets for the Art Gala go on sale March 1st. The event itself takes place April 22nd.
-Photo Courtesy of the Autism Society of Wood Buffalo Facebook Page