What Autism Rocks does:
Our annual Summer Camp/Retreat for autists and their caregivers is KindTree - Autism Rocks' founding event and the only event of its kind since 1997. Parents and caregivers can bring their autistic loved ones and relax with them over the weekend, knowing that they are in a safe and nurturing environment. The retreat is designed around the needs of those in the autism spectrum. The curriculum is a flexible but reliable balance of structured and non-structured activities, illustrated with photographs modeled after the Lovaas technique which accommodates autists’ visual and concrete way of thinking.
Scheduled activities include arts and crafts, Karaoke, pinata, campfires, late night movies, concerts, talent show, "human car wash", outdoor games, swimming and boating on Siltcoos Lake, and more. The retreat is a time for rejuvenation and solidarity. Autists are accepted and enjoyed for themselves, not forced into a procrustean neuro-normal mold. Caregivers and parents swap stories. Autists and neuro-normal people get to know each other. Magic happens.
This is some of the greatest autistic fun there is.
The Autism Celebration is an event in fall bringing together members of the autism community to display their talents and celebrate their differences.
The Peer Support Group, conceived for people with high-functioning autism and Aspergers, has been meeting monthly for three years. Cheryl Nel Applegate, a retired professional in the developmental disabilities field, is the facilitator. There are regulars and new arrivals often join; they range from 19 to 50 years old. They share stories and discuss different challenges posed by living with autism spectrum disorders. It's a safe place.
The Art Program displays and promotes art works created by people who have autism spectrum disorders. We proudly participate in Eugene's exciting "Holiday Market" event every Thanksgiving Day Weekend, offering for sale cards, prints and a wide variety of original art produced by people with autsm. This event creates income for the artists and lets everyone know who they are. Art from our annual juried show - Autism Artism 20?? - has appeared at the Oregon Developmental Disabilities In-Service in Salem, the Hilyard Community Center, The Unitarian-Universalist Church, Lane Community College, DIVA, Lane ESD, Lane County Courthouse, Territorial Vineyards, The New Zone Gallery, the Jazz Station, Passion Flower Designs, and Maude Kerns Art Center. We celebrate our artists with a gala opening, giving people a chance to rub elbows with some notable autists, and autists palpable proof of their self-worth and a market for their art.
"Reaching Out--Reaching In" newsletter goes out to over 950 households, and our eFLASH! goes out monthly to over 700 e-mails. In addition to publicizing upcoming KindTree - Autism Rocks events, our newsletter contains writings by people with autism spectrum disorders, reports on medical discoveries, a community-wide calendar, and other news in the autism community.
"STiLE" Program, Skills Training for an Independent Living Experinece, a series of tranings in life skills and recreational subjects, presently under development.
http://www.kindtree.org, our award-winning interactive web site, is replete with important links, a notecard sales portal, news and information, and more.