In 2019, they changed their foundation’s name to Avenues for Autism and have continued to broaden the scope of their services. Thankfully, there are now many more services and organizations out there to assist individuals with autism, their families, caregivers, and their employers. One might even call what they do a concierge service for all needs related to autism. However, they take things a step further at Avenues for Autism (AFA).
A home base
Alexis Eggenberger is the director of autism services at AFA. She has worked in the autism field since 2009. She explained that they help guide individuals and families according to their needs. They may assist a family with a three-year-old, an adult with a graduate degree, or maybe a family preparing for their adult child to move out on their own.
“We really cater to the needs of the family at that time,” said Eggenberger. As individuals grow up, their needs continue to change and everyone’s circumstances are unique.
AFA has always been a one stop shop to help people sift through the overwhelming list of resources, but now they include the clinical aspect of support. There are currently three licensed counselors on staff who provide the support that goes beyond sharing of resources.
“We are there to support where they are in the process”, said Eggenberger. The goal is to make everything as seamless as possible by providing 360-degree services. Maybe counseling is helpful, or skill building, family counseling, navigation services, and helping everyone understand what is available at every age and stage. Having a counselor there every step of the way can make all the difference in the world to an individual and their family.
With the addition of the clinical aspect of services now offered at Avenues for Autism, Eggenberger said individuals and families can consider this their “home base.” Families can be assured that their needs on all levels can be addressed in one place. Since AFA is all virtual, it allows them to assist people in all area counties without the transportation barrier.
Community understanding and awareness
Though Avenues for Autism is an incredible resource for neurodiverse individuals and their families, they are also out in the community offering customizable organizational training and consultation to help individuals and employers better understand neurodiverse individuals. They might assist the HR department on what needs employees may have for their families with autistic children, or maybe assist the employers on how to better communicate with their neurodiverse employees.
Whether you are an individual on the autism spectrum, a parent, caregiver, or even employer, Avenues for Autism will be able to assist you in locating resources for whatever stage of life you are in currently. They are there to help counsel, support, and navigate so that EVERYONE can live without limitations.
Navigation guides and much more information can be found at www.avenuesforautism.org. You can also find support by calling 419-210-5095.