At Autism Community Network, we know the best way to connect with others in the autism community is through fun and play! We offer a variety of programs designed for the whole family. Our Caregiver Empowerment Program aims to fortify the entire caregiver system with kindred relationships and critical knowledge to improve the overall wellness of your family.
SibShops are fun and energetic events that celebrate the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of autistic children. Participants will meet other neurotypical siblings of autistic children while having fun, laughing, and connecting on all aspects of having an autistic sibling. SibShops combine information and discussion activities with fun, high-energy games, food activities, and arts and crafts. SibShops are distinguished from general recreational programs by implementing discussion activities in each session. Discussion activities allow neurotypical siblings a safe space to share their own experiences while a facilitator actively listens and validates their feelings. Sibshops events are typically 2-4 hours long and may have 5-10 participants in each group. They are currently held once per month on the ACN campus. SibShops are designed for school-age children and seek to provide siblings with opportunities for peer support within a fun, recreational context that emphasizes a kids view. We believe that brothers and sisters have much to offer one another if given a chance. SibShops are our commitment to the well-being of the family member most likely to have the longest-lasting relationship with the autistic child. This program is generously supported by Circle Bar Foundation.
ACN's Quarterly Fam Jams are sensory-friendly, neurodiversity-affirming community celebrations for the whole family. We will provide the food, music, and fun. All we need to complete the party is you and your loved ones. For information on our upcoming parties, please follow our event calendar and/or social media. Registration is required. If you or your organization is interested in volunteering at a Fam Jam, please email Katie Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caregiver Ambassador Program
Each family receiving an autism diagnosis has a different emotional experience. Some families would like a person with lived experience to take their hand as they embark on this new pathway. Our Caregiver Ambassador Program (CAP) connects families new to the autism community with seasoned caregivers. Together, both families can grow in knowledge and lean into each other along their journeys. For more information, follow the link below.
Autism Community Network takes pride in offering a range of support groups tailored to the diverse needs of our community. We understand that individuals and families navigating the world of autism and neurodiversity often require different forms of support and guidance. Two of our prominent support groups are the PACT Parent Empowerment Pod (P-PEP) and the Neurture Project, each designed to provide specialized assistance to caregivers at different stages of their journeys. The PACT Parent Empowerment Pod (P-PEP) is an invaluable support group aimed at parents who have already participated in our PACT program. PACT equips parents with essential skills and knowledge to better support their child on the autism spectrum. Following their completion of PACT, parents may find themselves in need of continued support and connection with peers who have shared similar experiences. P-PEP serves as a lifeline, offering a supportive community where these parents can share insights, challenges, and triumphs, fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience. The Neurture Project is another vital support group specifically designed for caregivers of infants and toddlers, including those born during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The early years are critical for neurodiverse children, and the Neurture Project recognizes the unique needs and concerns that caregivers face during this period. Our support group provides a nurturing space where caregivers can connect, share experiences, and access valuable resources to navigate the uncertainties of raising neurodivergent infants and toddlers, especially in the context of a global health crisis. Both P-PEP and the Neurture Project exemplify Autism Community Network's commitment to providing tailored support that meets the evolving needs of individuals and families affected by autism and neurodiversity. We believe that through these support groups, we can empower caregivers with knowledge, camaraderie, and resilience, fostering a stronger and more inclusive community for all.