April 2021 Newsletter

April is National Autism Acceptance Month (NAAM)!

It's officially time to kick off National Autism Acceptance Month! All month long, we will be dedicated to sharing resources, events, and support for our community and beyond. Our efforts aim to promote acceptance and ignite change. To learn more visit our website, get involved, and #CelebrateDifferences.


We are so excited to host our first Member Only of 2021! Join us at AMC Studio 28 in Olathe, KS for the following movies: Hop, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Join us at AMC Independence Commons 20 in MO for the following movies: Hop, Abominable, and Jurassic WorldYou must be a PAID 2021 member to sign up. Call our office at 913-706-0042 or email ashofficeasst@gmail.com for the Access Code!


Our 4th Annual 5K/1K Fun Run will be May 1! Sign up here for in-person or virtual registration! FREE Worlds of Fun tickets are still available!


T(w)een Social Group

This month the group will join together to play Jeopardy!. We will be playing about special interests from our previous participants. Parents are invited! Sign up on Eventbrite here for the Zoom link and password. This a social group for tweens and teens with autism, ages 11-16, who are able to participate in social nights with some supervision. This group will meet monthly, and currently only virtually.


A.W.A.R.E. Activities

A.W.A.R.E. is a social group for adults with autism (ages 18+) who are able to participate in group settings without supervision. This group meets monthly, and currently only through a virtual setting.


Nelson-Atkin's Art Class

NEW! Support Group

We are so excited to continue our A.W.A.R.E. (Adults With Autism Recreational Events) social group virtually. Come join us for some fun Kahoot! competition about various topics that interest you! We will play multiple games to give everyone a chance to choose the topic. Please register here on Eventbrite for the April Zoom link and password! 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in partnership with the Autism Society-The Heartland invites you to join us for virtual art classes. Registration is required. Want to attend? Sign up by emailing duffymp@umkc.edu. We have limited room for these classes, so get your RSVP in early to reserve your spot! The Zoom link for each class will be emailed to you on the morning of the class.

Join us April 6, 2021 from 6:30-7:30pm for our first ever virtual A.W.A.R.E. Support Group! This group will be lead by two adult peers with ASD on the second Tuesday of every month. This month's topic of discussion will be "Acceptance As An Adult." Come ready to discuss your own experiences and find support from others in the group. To join this virtual group, please use this Zoom link and the password: 157231.

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Join us April 14 or April 15 for either of our TWO virtual Support Group Meetings! These will be held through Zoom. Please find more information by clicking the date you want to attend!


Autism Society - The Heartland continues our Saturday Seminar series with this month's VIRTUAL workshop Financial & Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs with Scott Adams from Community America: Special Needs Planning Center! Follow this link to register and for more information!


Summer 2021 is coming soon! There will be many, local summer camp options this year, both in-person and online! Please see our 2021 summer camp resource list here for more information!


COVID-19 Relief Fund still available!

Autism Society - The Heartland's COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide direct financial assistance to individuals and families for groceries, essential household supplies, activities, and/or caregiver self-care opportunities with a paid, active 2020 or 2021 ASH membership. Please visit our website here for more information and apply here.


Research Opportunities

Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities

University of Kansas Research Opportunity

Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training (KCART)

Are you an adult with an intellectual disability who wants a career? The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is conducting a study to understand the effectiveness of implementing a career development intervention using telehealth for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). The intervention uses the Self-Determined Career Design Model (SDCDM), an evidence-based intervention designed for people with IDD. If you are interested in learning more about this study or have questions please contact Evan Dean at edean2@ku.edu.

Suma Suswaram is recruiting parents, guardians, and adult caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for a study that examines the relationship between caregivers’ stress and child communication skills. To participate, the parents must be the primary caregiver of children between the age of 4-10 years, with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of ASD, speak less than 30 functional words. If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating, please contact suswaram_suma@ku.edu.

The BRAIN Lab team is seeking individuals 8-35 years old for our studies of brain and behavioral development in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals with ASD and individuals without ASD may participate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently conducting remote assessments only. If you are interested in participating in our studies*, follow the link above and click on ENROLL IN A STUDY. For more information about study participation, or to learn about the safety procedures being implemented by our research team, contacting us at (785) 864-4461 or brainlab@ku.edu.

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 April 2021

Join us for one of our many fundraisers at various local restaurants this month! Due to continued COVID-19 concerns in KS and MO, Autism Society - The Heartland has made the decision to cancel, reschedule, or move to a virtual format for our previously scheduled in-person events. We will continue to explore options to provide additional virtual options and supports. Our physical office at the KU Edwards Campus will remain closed throughout the entire month of April, as well.


THANK YOU to our current 5K/1K Fun Run Sponsors!

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