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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation invites community to honor Autism Acceptance Month

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Above / Beginning Mon., April 15, 2024, the 160-ft. Moser Tower with its 72-bell carillon will be illuminated in blue, shining light for Autism Acceptance Month. (PN File Photo)

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation will showcase a series of events honoring Autism Acceptance Month throughout April. With the support of the Naperville City Council and local businesses, Turning Pointe aims to highlight the importance of understanding, acceptance, and support for individuals and families impacted by Autism.

First up / City Council Recognition

On Tuesday, April 2, Mayor Scott Wehrli and the Naperville City Council officially proclaimed April as Autism Acceptance Month at the City Council Meeting in Council Chambers, marking the City of Naperville’s encouragement of all citizens to help raise awareness for acceptance and support of individuals affected by Autism.

City Councilman Paul Leong read and presented a Mayoral Proclamation recognizing April as “Autism Acceptance Month.” Individuals representing School Districts 203 and 204, Little Friends Inc., Ray Graham Association, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, Giant Steps, WDSRA, and the Naperville Park District were in attendance. (PN Photo)

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation April Events

Test Drives for Autism Awareness

Throughout the month, Turning Pointe will partner with local car dealers including Naperville Toyota, Naperville Chevrolet, Lexus of Naperville among others, for the “Test Drives for Autism Awareness” initiative. For every test drive taken at participating dealers, $20 will be donated to Turning Pointe, directly supporting programs and services for individuals with Autism. Learn more about participating in this unique fundraising opportunity at Test Drives.

KidSnips Makes a Difference

In addition, KidSnips is stepping forward to make a difference. Turning Pointe has been selected as the beneficiary for their April fundraiser, with $1 from every haircut during the weekdays in April donated to Turning Pointe. This initiative is taking place at seven KidSnips locations around Naperville. For more details and to find a participating location, visit kidsnips.com.

Open House Resource Fair / April 27, 2024

On Sat., April 27, Turning Pointe, in partnership with Sloomoo Institute, will host an Open House Resource Fair from 10AM to 2PM. This event, open to the public, offers a day full of interactive, sensory, and adaptive play. Attendees can gather information from local resources such as DuPage Children’s Museum, Shine Pediatric Dentistry, Riverwalk Adult Day Services, and WDSRA (Western DuPage Special Recreation Association), among others. 

“Many caregivers and families rely on therapies and community-based supports to meet their daily needs,“ noted Barb Brauer, Turning Pointe Advancement Director. “We would love to have families and caregivers join us on April 27 to meet the many resources in our community. People can find out more about the resources open house on our website at turningpointeautismfoundation.org/.”

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation is located at 1500 W. Ogden Ave., in Naperville.

Best Practice Continuing Education

Turning Pointe continues its commitment to providing best practice learning by welcoming the Practice Advisory Board to its campus on April 17, 18 and 19. Esteemed experts including Dr. Timothy Vollmer, Dr. Stephen Walker, Dr. Jonathan Fernand, Dr. Natalie Andzik and Dr. Brandon Perez will consult with Turning Pointe Behavior Analysts and provide continuing education, furthering their mission to offer exceptional support and learning opportunities.

“Our recognition of Autism Acceptance Month includes more than just awareness events— it’s about real change in the lives of those Turning Pointe Autism Foundation serves,” said Carrie Provenzale, Executive Director of Turning Pointe. “Mary is a great example of an employment training participant who went from never having worked to a five-year career of opportunities with Walgreens.”

Provenzale extended an invitation to the community to get involved in Autism Acceptance this April.

“We want to encourage the community and local families to join us in supporting and lifting up the growing number of individuals living and learning with autism,” she said. “Our family and friends living with autism need each of us to be involved in rethinking how we work and live. By accepting and celebrating the remarkable talents of our colleagues with autism, we can lift up the entire community.”

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation since 2007

Established in 2007, Turning Pointe strives to raise the quality of educational supports for children and young adults with autism. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the foundation relies on the partnership of volunteers, donors, school districts and Employment Partners to build a thriving center for students learning with autism.

For more information about Turning Poiinte Autism Foundation, visit turningpointeautismfoundation.org/.

Report submitted by Deb Newman for Turning Pointe Autism Foundation / PN Photos

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