Universities Sponsor SOCIALS for Adults & Caregivers

In collaboration with GAN and the Family Autism Network program, Cal State University – Fullerton, Chapman University and the University of California – Irvine will co-sponsor three SOCIALS for Adults with Autism (16 years and up) & Their Caregivers. CSUF will host a fall SOCIAL, UCI will host one in winter and Chapman will host a SOCIAL in spring, to be held cost-free at venues on each campus during the 2014-2015 academic year. Students from all three universities will volunteer at each event, giving them opportunities to personally engage with the people they are training to serve. They will also gain more insight into how autism affects all three generations in families. GAN members will assist in greeting and registering guests and hosting the caregivers at all events. Volunteer autism service providers from the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and other community resources will help to support the students and guests. Faculty members will either require student participation or provide extra credit for the students who volunteer. The Family Autism Network will give community service hours to them. All three universities are enthusiastic about this new autism collaboration. It serves as a model for other communities of how universities everywhere can partner with community nonprofit organizations to increase resources for the underserved autism community. It will bring positive recognition to the schools, their faculty members and students. In addition, it will encourage shared autism research studies and new grant funding possibilities. Most of all, it will increase community awareness, support, and opportunities for community integration for families affected by autism. The dates and details about these upcoming SOCIALS will be announced soon. Contact volunteer@faninfo.org if you would like to help at the SOCIALS.