Locals form Autism and Special Needs Support Group

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Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. By Ashley McCarty-A few Adams County residents have formed a support group for the local autistic and special needs community.Adams County Coffee, Tea, Autism and More, founded by Sherri Edington, Brittany Greene, and Heidi McAdow, is a peer-to-peer support group for families and individuals who are living or impacted with autism or other special needs to connect with others in order to share successes, resources, information, experiences, and needs.“It is a peer-to-peer support group for families with children in the autism community. We also added the ‘more,’ so it’s Coffee, Tea, Autism and More. The more includes anyone with special needs, in order to support, inform, just to provide resources for those people — families and those impacted — in the autism community and special needs as well,” said Edington.The inception of the group came after discussions occurred between Edington and Greene.“Brittany Greene, who is a kindergarten teacher at West Union Elementary, came to me. We had talked about it throughout last school year, about getting something going. She reached out to the Autism Society of Ohio, and that’s where it started. I’ve taught in the county for like 22 years, so I’ve wanted something like this to happen for a while, but it kind of just — Brittany initiated it, and it went from there,” said Edington.Both Edington and Green have autism in their family – Green, with her autistic son, and Edington, whose grandson is autistic.“My grandson, being 22-years-old — there’s obstacles. He would like to go to college, there’s obstacles that stand in his way. I mean, even adults, so that they’re employed gainfully, and able to be productive members of society. I think that’s all, and children being recognized, their needs being recognized as well. I’d like to reach out to the whole community. It doesn’t really have to be someone in Adam’s County, since our meetings are virtual. Anyone would be able to attend,” said Edington.Due to the coronavirus, group meetings – which are held every second Thursday of the month – are virtual, and held through Amazon Chime.Edington said she would like to see the school community involved, among others.“Professional teachers [and] paraprofessionals who might be aides to children with special needs. I would even like to see the law enforcement community involved in some way so that they understand what it is to deal with someone who might have a special need out in the public,” said Edington.Edington hopes this is something the community can get involved in.“We really just hope this is something the community can get involved with, and share experiences, and resources, and just be there for each other in a positive, loving, non-judgemental way,” said Edington.The next virtual meeting will be held on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. For more information please call (614) 495-7551 or email [email protected] You can also visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/adamscountycoffeeteaautismandmore/. last_img read more