At long, long last
Autism has new support centre in Cumberland County
Ten years of hard work has paid off.
“The original autism group was formed about 10 years ago, and it’s really exciting to see how we’ve progressed over the years and finally have a space to call our own in our community,” said Elaine Mazur, co-chairwoman of Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland chapter. “Hopefully we will continue to grow and offer more programs and support for our friends living with autism.”
Mazur attended the opening of the Cumberland chapter’s new resource centre, located at 50 Church St. in Amherst.
Jennifer Carey is the autism support co-ordinator at the new centre.
“I’m looking forward to blazing a lot of trails in the community for education and assistance so all of our ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) autistic individuals in the community have a better chance to succeed,” said Carey during the opening.
Carey says the new support centre currently supports 10 to 15 families in Cumberland County.
Vicky Harvey is the Autism Nova Scotia Potential Program co-ordinator, an initiative that supports the expansion and support of all eight chapters in the province.
“The government put us into the provincial budget, so $300,000 a year is being used to increase capacity to fund the staff person and support the chapters in developing programing,” said Harvey. Harvey said the rate for autism is higher than in the past.
“The public health agency of Canada put out a number of 1 in 66 that have autism to some degree,” said Harvey. “It’s a very broad spectrum so each person can look quite different.”
She said it’s thrilling to see local family support groups grow and become new chapters.
“We went from having one small organization in Halifax to having eight chapters around the province,” said Harvey.
Autism Nova Scotia is a nonprofit organization that raises most of its money through their annual fundraising walk.
For more information go to autismnovascotia.ca or to the Cumberland chapters website at autismcumberlancounty.ca
Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland Chapter recently opened its new resource centre in Amherst with help from, left, Jennifer Carey, Vicky Harvey, Elaine Mazur, and Tonia Hyslop. Carey is the autism support co-ordinator for Cumberland County, Harvey is the Autism Nova Scotia Potential Program co-ordinator, and Mazur and Hyslop are co-chairs of Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland chapter.