The Center of Autism in Southwestern Illinois is a program of United Cerebral Palsy Heartland. The autism resource library offers families free loans on autism resources, specialized toys and learning aides. At the Center, experts in autism provide family consultation, family and community trainings, social skills groups and technical assistance. Currently, the Center of Autism is operating in 988 square feet of space and this includes staff members, meeting rooms, etc. Due to the growing need, the Center of Autism will be moving within the next year to a larger space. A need in the new space is for an Adult Resource Room. Currently, the Center for Autism has a Children's Resource Room and has a limited supply of tools and resources for Adults.
More and more children with autism are graduating high school and college and moving onto adulthood. There are few things being done to focus on the transition of youth into adulthood for people with Autism. The Adult Resource Room at the Center for Autism will be a room to be utilized by the Center but also by other groups in the community that are looking to educate young adults with Autism and help them in the youth to adult transitional process. The room will contain basic equipment such as a flat screen TV, DVD/VCR combo, displays, furniture (including a computer work station), learning aides, DVDs, adult sensory items and books. Books to be featured in the Adult Resource Room include; "Autism Transition Guide", "Employment for Individuals with Autism", "How to Be Yourself in a World that's Different", "Survival Strategies for People with Autism" and "Talking Teenagers: Information and Inspiration for Parents" just to name a few. The Center will contain computer software including a few items such as "Boardmaker" -- a design program for visual supports, "DynaSyms" -- a language development program for Adults, "From the Classroom to the Workplace" -- interactive activities facilitate transition into workplace and "Cooking Up Fun" -- templates for recipes and activities. Learning Aids will also be available at the center and will include aids to help with communication, language builder occupation cards and "That's Life!" A game of life skills that includes categories such as consumer affairs, government, health concerns, money matters, going places and homemaking.