Community Foundation provides funding for expansion of services for individuals with autism at The Homestead

Apr. 4, 2011 null

The Homestead provides innovative solutions for people with autism and has developed The Autism Clinic that will allow The Homestead to treat more children, recruit and train more staff and provide a resource to families nulland professionals seeking to better understand and respond to the needs of autism. A $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation will provide funding for The Homestead to customize The Autism Clinic to serve children and families affected by autism.


"Each year, thousands of children slip deeper into their autism because of a lack of effective and available treatment," Executive Director of The Homestead Steve Muller said. "This grant from the Community Foundation will help us provide the early intervention strategies to help children with autism increase their communication and social skills which in turn decreases the need for expensive and life-long supports."


The Homestead Autism Clinic uses an intervention strategy called Applied Behavior Analysis that research has shown significantly reduces or alleviates the symptoms of autism in up to 90% of those who receive treatment early and often. Research demonstrates this strategy requires 20-40 hours of intensive interaction per week. Through The Autism Clinic, The Homestead will be able to provide this crucial support that is necessary for significant growth.


Families play a vital role in the treatment at The Autism Clinic where they participate in training to continue the skills at home and in the community. In addition to the individualized services provided to each child and their family, The Autism Clinic trains and supervises allied professionals to serve other children and provide consultation and in-home services to children and their families.


One in 110 children born today is expected to develop autism.  Community Foundation Board Chair Allison Fleming said, "The Community Foundation's support of this initiative will allow The Homestead Autism Clinic to help individuals and families which in turn strengthens our entire community. The Community Foundation is delighted to support this initiative and we encourage others in our community to reach out to The Homestead to show their support."


The Homestead is a private, nonprofit organization that provides personalized services that benefit children and adults with autism, their families and allied professionals. These services actively engage people in life, promote enriching educational experiences and increase the knowledge and understanding of autism. Services are provided in the community, in homes and in a unique agriculture-based campus program. Autism is a neurological disorder that severely hinders the way information is gathered and processed causing problems in communication, learning and social skills.


Photo caption: The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines provided a $25,000 grant to The Homestead to support children and families affected by autism. April is autism awareness month. Those pictured with the check from left are Dan Raedeker, Community Investment Associate with the Community Foundation; Steve Muller, Executive Director of The Homestead; Allison Fleming, Board Chair for the Community Foundation; Kristi Knous, Vice President of the Community Foundation; and Evelyn Horton, Director of Youth Community Services with The Homestead.  Also pictured is Michelle Johnson, Applied Behavior Analysis Specialist, working with one of the children served at The Homestead's Autism Clinic.