The Autism Society of Ohio
Need Help? Contact the Greater Akron Chapter about Our Neighbors Program!The Greater Akron Chapter of Ohio is pleased to offer a new support system for families – the Neighbor to Neighbor program! A Greater Akron Neighbor is a special volunteer, usually a parent or other family member touched by autism, and a liaison to family members seeking support and information. Neighbor Volunteers are about helping a family touched by autism. Neighbors chat via email or phone and even meet one-on-one to discuss issues, resources and just let families know they are not alone. Neighbor Volunteers are matched to families in need by neighborhood (or one close by) age, need or topic. Neighbors Volunteers also have great resources they can share in a toolkit provided by the Greater Akron Chapter. Check out our video about the program HERE.
Barb Yavorcik, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Ohio, said, "When a child receives of diagnosis of autism, families need help and resources. While the Autism Society of Ohio has great resources to share, we recognize that families who are already living with autism are the best resource. The one-to-one format of this program provides a nice compliment to autism support groups and another option for families."
The Autism Society of Ohio has recruited Neighbor Volunteers from around the Greater Akron area. Families in need can call the Greater Akron Chapter at 330-940-1441 or email at GreaterAkron@autismohio.org and we will match them with a Neighbor Volunteer who can help.
Laurie Sparks-Dennison a Neighbor to Neighbor Coordinator, says "Without a navigator, parents who have a child on the autism spectrum can feel confused, overwhelmed and disconnected. What makes the Neighbor to Neighbor Program such a vital resource for the Greater Akron autism community is that parents have the opportunity to connect with someone who has walked in their shoes and been down their path. This kind of support can mean all of the difference in a families' quality of life throughout their autism journey."
Yavorcik concludes, "The program is not just for the newly diagnosed. There are many stages in the life of an individual with autism that families find they might need support with – school issues, transition to high school, behaviors, employment, community support – and we have Neighbor Volunteers with experience across the autism spectrum and lifespan that can help and let them know that they are not alone."
For more information or to get connected to an Autism Society Neighbor, call the Greater Akron Chapter at 330-940-1441 or email us at GreaterAkron@autismohio.org.