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Autism Society to offer free workshop for local families

By Jeanie Groh

jeanie.groh@salisburypost.com 

The Autism Society of North Carolina will be providing a free workshop to families of children and adults with autism.

Funded by a grant from the Salisbury Community Foundation, this is one of several workshops that will be provided this year.

North Carolina currently has 50 autism support groups across the state, typically organized by county. Rowan County, however, currently doesn’t have a support group for those who care for autistic individuals.

“A lot of counties are covered, but Rowan is not,” said Nancy Popkin, an autism resource specialist with the Autism Society of North Carolina.

The goal of the workshop is to bring information to families in Rowan County and to connect parents to each other, she said.

Popkin added that they also hope to pull together a group willing to lead a support program in Rowan County.

Popkin said that when her own son was diagnosed with autism, a local support group is what helped her cope with the situation.

“No one else understood what that experience is like. It is very isolating,” she said. “I was a mess. It’s so disorienting.”

Parents with children with autism often feel incompetent or believe other people are judging them.

Popkin said attending a support group was a “relief.”

“It really lightens the load,” she said. “I have learned so much from other parents.”

Popkin said it’s important for the Autism Society of North Carolina to be in every community, because it increases the chances of autism being understood by community members.

The workshop will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 217 S. Church St. in Salisbury.

Registration is encouraged, but not required, and can be accessed at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/asnc-in-rowan-county-interest-meeting-tickets-17262941924. Childcare will not be provided.

For more information, contact Popkin at npopkin@autismsociety-nc.org or 704-894-9678.

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