Communities Engaging Autism

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Big news!! We’ve changed our name from “Center for Engaging Autism” to “Communities Engaging Autism.” You’ll see this change unfold on our website and social media in the coming weeks.

Why Communities Engaging Autism?

Here’s the short version:  We’ve heard repeatedly that “Center” was confusing. We aren’t a physical “center” that provides therapeutic services. We do provide education, training, and information. For me and, I hope, for many of you, CEA’s offerings have also provided a sense of connection and community.

Despite the name change, our mission is the same: Connecting young families living with autism to the information, strategies and support they need to engage fully in their homes, schools and communities. We are dedicated to building bridges between research, practice and everyday life.

In my enthusiasm, I’ll offer my perspective on this change as well:

1) I think Communities Engaging Autism better reflects our vision for Social Engagement, Empowered Parents, and Involved Community Supports. These three interconnected, dynamic layers are a foundation for inclusive communities and healthy individuals and families.

2) “Communities” captures the character of our organization. CEA is a far-reaching and flat organization deeply rooted in personal and professional relationships among parents, individuals with autism, writers, teachers, therapists, trainers, and others. We are creative, flexible, and collaborative learners who share our strengths and contributions. We meet in familiar community spaces where families can connect to one another.

I have much more to write on the words we have chosen to use. I will post again next month about how I envision CEA living into those words. I’d love to hear your thoughts: In what ways does “Communities Engaging Autism” reflect (or not) your experience here? Comment below or contact us with your thoughts.

Author: Beth

Beth is a wife, mother, researcher and connector. She has two elementary-aged kids, one who is differently wired with autism. Beth has done graduate work and consulting related to youth development and community engagement. She loves advocating for authentic community engagement and contributions of kids and families impacted by autism. She lives in Hopkins, MN.

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