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Autism meeting to feature speaker from community center

Alicia Lenhart, program director of the IGNITE program in Davidson, will speak at the upcoming meeting of The Rowan County Chapter of the Autism Society of North Carolina.

For individuals with high-functioning autism, IGNITE serves as a peer-to-peer community center that seeks to engage and encourage members to discover their passions and reach their full potential. The program offers social activities, skills training and educational workshops that aim to foster as much social, financial, educational and employment independence as possible for its members.

Scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Rowan meeting will be held in Room 123 of the First Ministry Center, 220 N. Fulton St. The First Ministry Center is directly across the street from First Baptist Church. Visitors should park in the main parking lot of the FMC, enter through the main doors, and walk straight down the hall; room 123 will be on the right.

Childcare is provided, but those desiring childcare must RSVP by Friday, Feb. 15, at RowanChapter@autismsociety-nc.org. The event is free and open to the public.

According to the Autism Society of North Carolina website, “As individuals with HFA or AS finish high school, or while in college or after, they are often for the first time without resources or guidance to navigate the next level of independent living, social opportunities, and further educational and employment options. This leaves many underemployed or unemployed and at home alone with no supports for further education, employment, or social engagement.

“A diagnosis of ASD does not mean an individual’s potential for a successful career, meaningful relationships or being a contributing member of society should be limited. Many individuals on the autism spectrum have peak skills and talents that are never truly tapped into. The IGNITE program focused on existing strengths and interests of the members and person-centered supports in areas that require assistance.”

The Rowan County Chapter meets the third Tuesday of every month. The chapter was formed by local parents and care providers who have life experiences with autism. It is supported by the Autism Society of North Carolina, which has as its mission “to provide support and promote opportunities than enhance the lives of individuals within the autism spectrum and their families.”

For more information, contact Alice Lawson, at RowanChapter@autismsociety-nc.org.

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