Thanks to all of or donors, volunteers and all of you who participated in our fifth annual Mardi Gras Ball on March 2nd. The Johnny O Band was once again at their best providing New Orleans-style Blues and rock music. Freshies’ did a great job providing everyone with their famous Cajun food. We think that our Mardi Gras Ball is fast becoming the “party of the year.” The money raised from ticket sales and our auctions provides funds that help us sustain our programming throughout the year.
April is World Autism Awareness Month. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced this past week that they have revised their estimate of autism prevalence. They reported that rates of all forms of autism may be substantially higher than the previously estimated 1 in 88 children. It is now believed that 1 in 50 children, mostly boys, will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the US this year.
These numbers are of course disturbing. Certainly the diagnostic tools are much more effective and with the increase of media attention of this disorder, children are screened and diagnosed much earlier. The question remains indeed is this the reason or cause for the increase in the numbers.
This Program has already experienced the rise in numbers by the increase in the number of families that are requesting services. The puzzle that remains is the fact that Routt County is experiencing a higher rate of incidence than the national average. We don’t know why!
Horizons Specialized Services and Yampa Valley Autism Program are “shining a light on autism” by raising awareness for autism by participating in Autism Speaks’ Light Up Blue Campaign on April 2nd. You can participate and support our programs by wearing “blue” on April 2nd. How can you help? Wear blue on April 2nd. Spread the word. Help a family that is struggling with this disorder.
Our other exciting news is our long awaited greenhouse project. In November we installed a 22’ solar self-sustaining greenhouse on land that Rocky Mountain Youth Corps donated to us. So many thanks to the Craig-Scheckman Foundation and others who provided the funds to make our dream of a year-round program happen.
Our Community Cultivation Program will begin planting cold weather crops in February and the horticultural work-ready program will begin at the greenhouse. We are also pleased that we will retain our raised garden beds at the Botanic Park as we have for the last four years.
We still offer the same valuable services that we have in the past. Respite, Family Support Services continue to remain an important part of our services to this community.
Yampa Valley Autism Program is here to help. You don’t need a diagnosis of autism to receive services from our program. We offer services not only for autism but other developmental disabilities. Never hesitate to call with questions or concerns about your child.
Lu Etta Loeber