Autism New Jersey Open Forum Focuses on Severe Behavior Challenges
April 19, 2017
On March 29, 2017, Autism New Jersey hosted more than 25 parents in an Open Forum for Parents of Children and Adults with Autism and Severe Behavioral Challenges in our Robbinsville office. Recognizing the variety and severity of behavioral challenges that many individuals with autism and their families face, Autism New Jersey convened this forum as a way for families to meet other parents, share their experiences, and learn about resources that might be helpful.
“Many times, families in behavioral crisis can feel very isolated and exhausted and have few opportunities to network with other families,” noted Suzanne Buchanan, Executive Director of Autism New Jersey. “We’re glad the forum provided that opportunity and offered some hope for the future.”
Most parents shared heart-wrenching stories of their children in behavioral crisis and having nowhere to go, being bounced from hospital to hospital, and not having enough help to prevent injuries. “Our Helpline fields calls from families who too frequently encounter obstacles in getting their kids the services they need to address behavioral challenges,” noted Amy Smith, Director of Information Services.
In the words of one parent, “It’s been one brick wall after another. There was no place to go. I feel like have PTSD.”
“Their struggles are traumatic,” added Eric Eberman, Director of Public Policy. “Their stories and experiences will help inform and enhance Autism New Jersey’s advocacy at the state level for funding as well as treatment availability and quality.”
Next Open Forum: May 24
Autism New Jersey will be hosting a second Open Forum on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at Alpine Learning Group in Paramus where it will share a summary of the concerns expressed at the March forum and explore our initiatives to start to address these very complex issues. “Our work is just beginning and it’s a long road ahead,” said Dr. Buchanan, “but we want these families to know they are not alone and we are here to help.”
The May 24 Open Forum is free to attend, but registration is required. Learn more>>