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Communities + Engaging Autism = New Name, Same Mission

Hello parents, caregivers, and professionals! We’re glad you’re here. Our new name—Communities Engaging Autism—reflects our vision. We want to help build authentic connections, share reliable information, and support families living with autism in our communities.

Steadfast Mission

Our mission is steadfast: To empower and support young families living with autism so they can engage fully in their communities. We believe ”engagement” requires a back-and-forth, reciprocal effort. Therefore, we also hope our insights guide the community members who live and work alongside families.

Relationships: The Building Blocks of Community

We know that relationships and social connections are central to children’s social and emotional well-being. Relationships give us all a sense of belonging. At CEA we affirm parents as those who spend the most time living with and loving their child. Parents have the greatest commitment to their child’s development and lifelong happiness.

But autism can make it hard to connect with your child. And because each child expresses autism in an individual way, it can be a confusing, frustrating, and time-consuming process to find ways to support your child’s specific and changing needs. We also know your child is embedded in a family system that adapts, embraces, and sometimes strains under these pressures. We know. We’re there too. 

Personal Connection Fuels Our Passion

Our volunteer board of directors, our writers and our presenters are all personally engaged with autism and are passionate about sharing what we know and supporting one another. We are dedicated to building bridges between research, practice and everyday life.

We offer education from experts,  how the latest research affects your family, and strategies that benefit your child. And we’re always looking for ways to grow. Explore with us the many possibilities of living with autism.

We’re here to help foster your child’s growth and development – and realize the joy of nurturing your child. Join our blog where we provide a place for everyone to learn and grow.

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April: Join Us for Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month

Today we step into April, Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. This is certainly not the way many of us pictured it, but humor and creativity can help us adapt to this COVID-19 reality. In this spirit, CEA is celebrating in a few ways, and we hope you’ll join us.  

Explore these flexible opportunities! As always, please share what you find insightful and delightful.

Oxygen Mask Episode 011: Welcoming guests, unpacking mindfulness

In Episode 11, we warmly welcome our first guests, Kate Biederman and Jen Reiter, who have deeply shaped Communities Engaging Autism’s mindfulness course*. In this rich conversation, Beth, Jen, Kate and Tera unpack what mindfulness really is and the growth they’ve seen in themselves and others through practice.

*Our Spring 2020 course has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay informed of future offerings, subscribe to the podcast or visit our website to subscribe to CEA’s newsletter.

Key quote: “People don’t have less stress in their life…they’re just more equipped and resourced to handle what comes.” – Kate Biederman

Key points:

  • Defining mindfulness; noticing is powerful
  • Anchoring your attention in your body; being present in the moment
  • Consistency is key in growing self-awareness; do simple things, daily
  • Practicing in community with other parents is powerful

Show notes: 

LEND Fellowship

Communities Engaging Autism’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Sebastian Gendry

Book: How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh

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