April is Autism Awareness Month. It’s a time for people, advocacy organisations and charities to work together to draw attention to the barriers faced by those with autism – and work towards removing them.
To mark the occasion, we’d like to share some of the great things that autism-related charities on GivenGain are doing right now. We’re proud to have them on board, and we hope you’ll support their work as we do.
LifeLab Kids offers evidence-based therapeutic and teaching programmes for children of all abilities. These include occupational therapy, art classes and virtual reality life skills coaching – with the goal of helping each child to meet their potential.
“Two words come to mind: ‘celebrating differences’,” says Natalie Rink, Director of Marketing Communications at LifeLab. “We believe in meeting the autistic child right where they are and honouring that person.”
SNAP has been offering one-on-one intervention services and education to children with autism since 1998. It also provides workshops for local and international families. The charity originally worked with just one child, but its SNAP Academy now teaches more than 80 children in Grades 0-7 using a specially adapted curriculum.
According to the charity, 1 in 88 South African children are affected by autism and support from the government is limited – SNAP itself relies entirely on private donations.
Més que Surf takes a unique approach to helping autistic children deal more easily with the challenges of everyday life – surfing therapy. The charity was launched in 2017 by a group of psychologists, helped out by the local Sitges Surf Club, after a successful pilot programme.
Today, Més que Surf provides free, individualised surfing-based therapeutic programmes. The charity also aims to promote and raise awareness of the power of alternative therapies.
Cavan Autism Parents Support (CAPS) was set up to support the parents and carers of children with autism as well as the children themselves. CAPS holds weekly activity clubs and also organises day trips and overnight camps for kids and their carers.
CAPS currently works with more than 70 families in the Cavan area and relies on volunteers and donors to make its activities possible. It is also one of the charity partners of a major event that recently teamed up with GivenGain – the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
Hurdy Gurdy House is a Cape Town residential home for adult men with autism and other intellectual disabilities. The charity is currently raising money to repair and expand their buildings, providing space for an additional resident as well as more facilities. It also aims to open a workshop space and provide day programmes for people with intellectual disabilities living in the community.
This month, why not support a charity working to help people with autism? Charity events may not be an option for most of us at the moment, but we’ve shared some ways that you can run a successful fundraising campaign from your own home.
We know that charities are facing real difficulties at the moment. If you know a great autism-related charity that isn’t already on GivenGain, please ask them to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Online fundraising allows charities to keep raising money even when events are cancelled, and we’d love to help them to continue their vital work.