Newly-formed support group open to caretakers of those with autism

Area service agencies and Huntington University have teamed up to offer a support group for parents and caretakers of individuals with autism.

The Autism Puzzle Connection of Huntington County is sponsored by the Bowen Center in Huntington, the Autism Society of Indiana, Pathfinder Services Inc., the special services department of Huntington County School Corporation and Dr. Joni Schmaleride, assistant professor of education at Huntington University.

Shelly Snyder, director at the Bowen Center, says each partner plays a key role.

"Dr. Schmaleride's class provides activities for the children, while the group meets," Snyder states. "At our last meeting on Jan. 10, our guest speakers were Ken Wood and Lisa Pape, from Pathfinder. They talked about the Indiana Medicaid waivers."

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, starting at 6:30 p.m., at Huntington University in Leow-Brenn Center, room 165.

"The aim is to provide parents and caretakers with support by connecting them with information and resources within the county as well as outside the county," Snyder adds. "Each meeting will have at least one guest speaker."

For more information on the group, contact Snyder at the Bowen Center in Huntington at 356-2875, extension 3110.
"The Autism Society of Indiana also has districts and each district has allies who act as representatives," Snyder states.

"We are in District 9 and our Ally is Nicole Hicks."
To contact Nicks about the Autism Society of Indiana, call 800-609-8449, extension 909.