Speaking to families in need

. November 6, 2012.

Since 1924, Michigan's Judson House has been an invaluable resource for families, offering child welfare, disability and mental health services. Judson Center Autism Connections, with offices in Howell and Royal Oak in addition to Ann Arbor, offers a wide range of services for families dealing with autism-spectrum disorders, helping to promote independence and maximize potential. This month, Ann Arbor's Autism Connections continues its lecture series for parents and caregivers, on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm.

The first and third Thursday cover "Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum," aimed at parents of younger children, helping them cope with their diagnosis and develop a therapeutic plan. On February 2, Emily Besecker and Shannon Leveille speak on "Understanding ABA Therapy," exploring the benefits of Applied Behavioral Analysis for autism-spectrum children. On February 16, Kathie Klingensmith speaks on the "P.L.A.Y. Project," the community-based therapy program created by Dr. Richard Solomon.

The second and third Thursday lectures focus on "The Transition to Adulthood," a crucial time in the lives of families of adolescents on the spectrum. On February 9, Dr. Suzi Naguib of Ann Arbor's Sunfield Center for Autism, ADHD and Behavioral Health speaks on "Adult Social and Life Skill Development," addressing the sometimes-difficult road to independence. And on February 23, Daryl Greenfield discusses "Washtenaw County Adult Services," helping families explore the public resources that are available to them.

Each lecture costs $5 per family, and free childcare is provided. The lectures will continue through March and April, with speakers to be announced. To register, contact Colleen Huysman at 734-528-1692 ex.23222 or colleen_huysman@judsoncenter.org 3840 Packard Rd., Ste. 110. www.judsoncenter.org