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Their Voice: Enriching events coming up soon in Utah County

By Monica Villar - Their Voice | Sep 18, 2021


Monica Villar

This week seems like a good opportunity to provide some information on various interesting events coming up in our area. I say this all of the time but we are very fortunate in Utah County to have so many resources working in the best interest of our community.

First, I was excited to have a telephone call this week with Avery Pince-Hyder, the Program Manager for the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council (UDDC). We talked about a new initiative that is being created by the council called “End the Wait, Utah!” The purpose of this initiative is “to find innovative ways to provide limited support to individuals currently waiting for services from the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD). The UDDC and other stakeholders intend to identify and share ways to maximize the existing spending or programming for those currently in services or who are currently receiving limited support.”

My first step toward working on this important project was to “Take the Pledge to End the Wait.” By doing so, I am agreeing to do what I can to assist with this goal. Not only is this of interest to me on a professional level but personally, I meet so many families who have either been on the waiting list for a long time or don’t think it is even worth filling out the application. As part of the pledge we are asked to make once change a year and consider what we can do for the next five years.

I would like to reach out to any families who have a story to tell about their need for resources and what difference those resources would make to their family and overall quality of life. If you have anything you would like to share or would like your voice heard, please email me at monicav@riseservicesinc.org

On a different topic, there are a couple of very interesting seminars coming up from the Utah Parent Center. First, “Health Bodies — a Maturation Program for Parents of Youth with Disabilities” sponsored by the Utah Parent Center and Utah Family Voices. The online seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 6th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Registration is available online at http://utahparentcenter.org

This zoom event will address the stressful and confusing time of puberty, specifically for youth with disabilities. In spite of delays in other areas, youth with disabilities experience puberty around the same time as other children their age. Some youth with intellectual disabilities, developmental delays or spina bifida may actually start early. This workshop will give parents tips on how to talk to their child on their own level about what is going on with them.

I can’t stress enough what an amazing, ongoing resource the Utah Parent Center is to the individuals, families and caregivers of our disability community. There are always many educational events available as well as activities. If you are not already receiving their monthly newsletters, I highly recommend signing up.

Another upcoming event that has become an annual favorite is the Utah Valley University Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism “Super Spectrum Showcase”. Artists of all ages are invited to submit their work in any medium. Deadline for submission is Oct. 1. Like last year, this will be hosted virtually on November 5th. All art will be displayed in galleries on their website. Artists will be provided a link that they can share with family and friends.

And finally, Brigham Young University is seeking volunteers to help with a research study focusing on diagnosing autism earlier and more effectively. The study is focusing on infants and toddlers between the ages of 8 and 18 months old who have an older sibling diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) or no relatives at all with the diagnosis. Participants will be paid based on their category. For information about this study contact cogndevelopment@gmail.com or call (801)422-5977.

As always thank you to these community providers who continue to find ways to support our families.


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