Categories
News

UPDATED: Message About COVID-19

We have been closely monitoring and evaluating developments about the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) to ensure we take the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of Autism Society members and Annual Conference attendees. As a result, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to move the 31st Annual Wisconsin Conference from an in-person event at the Kalahari Convention Center to an online event. 

Each year, we look forward to hosting those in the autism community from around the state to network, learn, and support each other. While we are deeply saddened that we cannot see you all at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells this spring, we are thankful for this opportunity to continue with the event in a different way this year.  

We are currently working with a virtual event platform to build an engaging, interactive, and informational event that can accommodate our session line up and exhibit hall. We will have more details in the coming weeks.

For additional resources on COVID-19 and how it affects the disability community, click here.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, click here.

Categories
News

Tom’s Drawing Board Recognized as First Autism Friendly Communities Partner in the Central Wisconsin Area

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin and the Central Wisconsin Affiliate is excited to recognize Tom’s Drawing Board as the first Autism Friendly Communities partner in the Central Wisconsin area. The new Autism Friendly Communities Initiative, launched earlier this year, aims to increase the quality of life for those affected by autism by improving community understanding of autism and improving access to inclusive experiences, programs, and events.

“It means so much to the families we serve to know there are places like Tom’s Drawing Board, where people with autism are understood, welcomed, and included,” says Anna Kania, president of the Autism Society of Central Wisconsin, “we look forward to our partnership with Tom to continue improving access to sensory friendly programming.”

Tom’s Drawing Board, located in Rhinelander WI, is an art studio that offers unique art classes, art lessons, and other design services. The Autism Society of Central Wisconsin and Tom’s Drawing Board began their partnership by hosting a sensory friendly Santa event last December. Tom has also received training from the Autism Society about the basics of autism and how he can modify his programs to make them more accessible to people with autism and other disabilities.

“It’s important to me that everyone in the community has access to our programs and services,” says Thomas Barnett, owner of Tom’s Drawing Board, “I am honored that Tom’s Drawing Board is recognized as the first Autism Friendly partner in this part of the state and would love to talk with anyone else interested in becoming Autism Friendly.”

The Autism Society of Central Wisconsin and Tom’s Drawing Board invites community members to a special event in recognition of this partnership. The open house event will take place on Wednesday, February 26th at 6:00 pm at Tom’s Drawing Board- 52 N Brown St, Rhinelander, WI 54501. Refreshments provided.

Join us to celebrate this partnership!

The Autism Society of Central Wisconsin and Tom’s Drawing Board invites community members to a special event in recognition of this partnership. The open house event will take place on Wednesday, February 26th at 6:00 pm at Tom’s Drawing Board- 52 N Brown St, Rhinelander, WI 54501. Refreshments provided.

About Tom’s Drawing Board

Tom’s Drawing Board is a working studio with a retail shop and classroom located in beautiful Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Tom’s drawing Board has clients worldwide and Tom has been a professional illustrator and graphic designer with over 15 years of professional experience. Services provided everything from logo design, original branding, unique art classes, private art lessons for adults and youth, and more.

Categories
News

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Recognizes the Building for Kids Children’s Museum as First Autism Friendly Communities Partner in New Initiative

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin’s new Autism Friendly Communities Initiative is pleased to recognize the Building for Kids Children’s Museum as the first Autism Friendly Communities Partner. The initiative aims to increase the quality of life for those affected by autism by improving community understanding of autism and access to inclusive experiences, programs, and events. The initiative recognizes community partners that actively work to design spaces, programs, and events that include and support individuals and families with autism.

“ASGW and our local affiliates are excited for the opportunity to partner with local businesses and organizations to make community spaces more welcoming and inclusive to autistic individuals,” says Kirsten Cooper, executive director, Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin.

“The Building for Kids Children’s Museum has been a valued partner for years. While this Initiative is new to the Autism Society, the Building for Kids Children’s Museum has long been committed to ensuring that children of all abilities can access their museum and programs. We are thrilled to recognize our continued partnership in this new way,” says Diane Nackers, president, Fox Valley Autism Society affiliate.

The mission of the Building for Kids Children’s Museum is to empower children, engage parents and energize communities. The museum offers a Sensory Superstars program once a month that includes free admission to families with children diagnosed with autism, a lower sensory experience, and special programming. Additionally, the museum has sensory kits and a quiet space available to children and families during their visit at any time. The kits include sound-reducing earmuffs, tactile toys, visual timers, decision boards, play scripts, and proprioceptive weights.

“Responding to the needs of all children, including those with autism, is central to our mission of empowering children, engaging parents, and energizing communities,” said, Oliver Zornow, executive director. “We are pleased to partner with the Autism Society and hope this recognition will increase access to even more families.”

About the Building for Kids Children’s Museum

Established in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin in 1991, the Fox Cities Children’s Museum opened its doors in November 1992, occupying only a section of the current second floor. In 2006, the facility was expanded and completely renovated with new exhibits designed by kids for kids under the new name, Building for Kids Children’s Museum. The Building for Kids accomplishes their mission by providing specially designed exhibits, programs and events. Their goal is to inspire, teach and reinforce curiosity.

Categories
News

Betty McCluskey Joins the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Board of Directors

Elizabeth (Betty) McCluskey, Outpatient Psychotherapist and Owner at Psychological Resource Center, LLC in Tomahawk, Wisconsin has joined the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin as a member of the Board of Directors.

“Betty’s experience is invaluable to the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin as we continue to work toward more inclusive communities. We’re thrilled to have Betty part of the Board of Directors” said Robert Peyton, President of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin.

Ms. McCluskey has her own private counseling practice in Tomahawk, Wisconsin and is well known for specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders in her professional community. She is committed to bringing awareness and understanding to her local community through speaking engagements and community trainings.

“The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin’s mission is meaningful to me in many ways, as my husband and daughter have both been diagnosed with Asperger’s”, says McCluskey. “Without this organization, I know that the quality of life of my daughter’s life, and the lives of those I support as a therapist, would be much different than they are today. I want to continue to make a difference and I believe it is time for me to take more responsibility at a higher level.”

Categories
News

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Welcomes Glen Stiteley to Board of Directors

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Welcomes Glen Stiteley to Board of Directors

Glen Stiteley, Executive Vice President and CFO of County Bancorp, Inc. (NADSAQ: ICBK) and Investors Community Bank, has joined the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin as a member of the Board of Directors, according to Robert Peyton, President of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin.

“We are very excited about the skill-set that Glen brings to the Autism Society. His financial background, governance experience, and strategic mindset will certainly strengthen our ability to deliver on our mission of maximizing the quality of life for individuals and families affected by autism” said Peyton.

Mr. Stiteley has served as the CFO of Investors Community Bank since August of 2017 and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of operating a business (e.g. finance, marketing, strategic planning, operations, human resources, IT). Glen and his wife Katie have three sons.  Their youngest was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and is now five years old.  “Our family deals with autism on a daily basis.  Katie and I are very passionate about sharing what we have learned and helping other families affected with autism.  We are really excited to be joining such a great organization that is dedicated to helping families touched by autism” said Glen.  

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin provides a community for those interested in increasing the quality of life for those affected by autism in its 53-county service area. Founded in 1979 as the Autism Society of Wisconsin, the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin has been passionately committed to improving the lives of those affected by autism for 40 years through its five core program areas; support, education, information and referral, advocacy and community building.

Categories
News

New Support Group Page & Support Group Registration Process!

New Support Group Page & Support Group Registration Process!

With the goal of increasing access to support opportunities for families affected by autism across Greater Wisconsin, the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin is pleased to offer a path for support groups to register with the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin.

Registered support groups are led independently of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin but align with the mission, vision, and guiding principles of the Autism Society.

We look forward to partnering with existing support groups serving those affected by autism across our service area and assisting with the development of support groups where needed.

Learn more about support groups in Greater Wisconsin and about the registration process by clicking on the links below.

Categories
News

Autism Society of Wisconsin Becomes Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin

The Autism Society of Wisconsin becomes the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin

We are excited to announce our new name – the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin.

A recent decision by the Autism Society of America changed our service area from all 72 Wisconsin counties to the northern 53 counties. No longer a statewide organization, the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin name is a better reflection of the organization’s service area.

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin’s service area includes Vernon, Juneau, Adams, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan counties and extends up to the northern border of Wisconsin. It includes 53 of the 72 Wisconsin counties. The southern 19 counties are served by the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin. Families in these areas are encouraged to reach out to their respective affiliates for questions about resources and programs.

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin will continue to serve as the parent organization for five local Autism Society affiliates (Central, Chippewa Valley, Fox Valley, Lakeshore, and Northeast), located throughout our service area and shown on the map. These affiliates will continue to offer the same programs and services they always have. Likewise, our organization will continue to offer the same services and programs, with no other changes to structure or operations.

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin continues its commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by autism in Wisconsin. We will continue to work with the other Autism Society affiliates to continue statewide initiatives.

The formal transition to the new name, the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, took place on May 9th. At that time our website moved to autismgreaterwi.org and our staff can be reached at the new email addresses below. Please make a note to change your records.

Kirsten Cooper, Executive Director, kcooper@autismgreaterwi.org

Amber Gollata, Education & Outreach Coordinator, agollata@autismgreaterwi.org

Kelly Brodhagen, Office Manager, kbrodhagen@autismgreaterwi.org

We look forward to our future focusing on our 53-county service area with a new name.

Categories
News

Autism Awareness & Acceptance Day

Bringing Elected Officials, People with Autism, and Families Together at Autism Awareness & Acceptance Event at the Capitol April 3rd

(Madison, WI) – Governor Evers will present a proclamation to recognize April as Autism Awareness Month on Wednesday, April 3rd at 11 a.m. in the Senate Parlor.

Senate President Roger Roth (R—Appleton), Autism Society Affiliates in Wisconsin, and a panel of speakers who have autism will share their stories and discuss policy issues affecting individuals and families with autism in Wisconsin.

 “With nearly 1 in 59 individuals affected by autism, it’s important that my colleagues and I spend time listening to, and learning from individuals with autism and their families,” said Sen. Roth.

“Meaningful discussions about maximizing the quality of life for people with autism through effective policies must include the voices of people with autism.  We’re thankful for this opportunity to bring our community together, celebrate the contributions of those with autism, and highlight the stories and experiences of four individuals on the spectrum from Wisconsin,” said Kirsten Cooper, the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Wisconsin.

Sen. Roth and the Autism Society Affiliates are proud to partner this April to increase community understanding and work toward building autism-friendly, inclusive communities.

The Autism Society Affiliates in Wisconsin are a part of a national network that shares the vision of individuals and families living with autism able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity, and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued.

Affiliates across the state focus on serving people with autism, their families and professionals through five core service areas; Advocacy, Education, Information & Referral, Support and Community.

Categories
News

Updated Incidence Rate

On April 26, 2018 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated the incidence rate of autism among eight year olds in the United States. This updated report occurs every two years. The incidence rate released in April 2016 showed that 1 out of 68 children were living with an autism diagnosis. Today’s incidence rate show the rate has increased to 1 out of 59 eight year olds.
The Autism Society is committed to helping the 1 in the 59 through community, support, education, advocacy, and information & referral. The Autism Society works to create communities where each person with autism is valued, respected and provided the opportunity to maximize their quality of life each and every day. Click here to find a local affiliate in Wisconsin.
Categories
News

Autism in Wisconsin 2017 Report Release

In 2016, the Autism Society of Wisconsin conducted a survey to learn more about the experiences and attitudes of individuals with autism, parents/caregivers of individuals with autism, and the professionals who work with families affected by autism. The purpose of the Autism in Wisconsin survey was to collect and compile data on the experiences of people affected by autism in Wisconsin to 1) influence Autism Society programming priorities 2) influence policies and legislation 3) document how experiences and attitudes change over time. As the first of its kind, the report below will serve as a baseline for future surveys and reports. We hope this information may be of interest to the autism community and that it will be useful for those working to increase the quality of life for those affected by autism.

 

View the Autism Report Here  

 


Categories
News

Service Area Update

Beginning in January of 2017, the Autism Society of Wisconsin is transitioning from a state affiliate to serving a portion of the state as defined by our new 53 county service area. The change is a result of a decision made by the national Autism Society. Our new service area begins with Vernon, Juneau, Adams, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan counties and extends up to the Northern border of Wisconsin. We are currently keeping the name, the Autism Society of Wisconsin, but may consider a name change in the future that better reflects our new service area.

The Autism Society of Wisconsin serves as the parent organization for five local affiliates, located throughout our service area and shown on the map. These affiliates will continue to offer the same wonderful programs and services they always have. As direct affiliates under the National Autism Society, the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin and the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin are responsible for serving the remaining counties in the southern part of the state.

The Autism Society of Wisconsin continues its commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by autism in Wisconsin. We hope to work with the other affiliates to continue our statewide initiatives such as hosting the Essay Contest, developing and distributing our Next Steps guides, and working collaboratively on advocacy issues.

The Autism Society of Wisconsin looks forward to our future, focusing on our new 53 county service area. We’re excited to work with our local affiliates and other local partners to build capacity in our communities. Please give us a call if you have any questions.

 

Service Area Contact Info