Karen is a mom who wanted to learn more about autism so she can find ways to collaborate with her child’s school and ask the right questions of her pediatrician.
Kesha, another parent, wanted to build networks with other parents, colleagues and friends. “I want to gain some insights so that maybe in the future I can contribute in a professional manner.”
Jodi Blake is a graduate student in education who was interested in gaining more understanding and knowledge about autism that she can use in a classroom.
All three were among the close to 100 people who attended the 4th annual Urban Autism Summit Saturday, June 25. The free event was held at UWM charter school, Milwaukee College Prep School. The goal of the Urban Autism Summit is to close the gap in information and services about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for families and the professionals who serve them in Milwaukee.
Elizabeth Drame, chair of the Department of Exceptional Education and program coordinator for SOE’s Autism Spectrum Disorders certificate program, coordinated the planning of the Urban Autism Summit in collaboration with several community groups. The program included a roundtable discussion for men touched by autism, and workshops on the basics about autism spectrum disorders, transition resources for young adults, coping with stress, and collaborating with schools. This year the Summit also included workshops for youth with ASD who accompanied their parents and their siblings. This year, 27 youth were in attendance, including youth volunteers. Close to 30 volunteers from the School of Education, Marquette University, other local organizations and Golda Meir Girl Scout Troop 8552 members helped out.
In addition to the UWM Exceptional Education Department, supporters of the Summit included the Autism Society of Southeast Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Center for Independence, Marquette University, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, Wisconsin LEND Program, Wisconsin Community of Practice, Integrated Development Services and Milwaukee Public Schools.
If you would like to help fund Community Engagement, please visit the Give to UWM webpage.
Or contact Carol Wacker at (414) 229-3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore opportunities to support students, ensure research excellence and enable ongoing collaborations with community schools and organizations.