Health & Safety

April 11, 2014

ACS addresses autism, volunteers, resiliency

Audrey Peterson-Hosto
Army Community Service

April is Autism Awareness Month

One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, a 30 percent increase from one in 88 two years ago, according to a new report released March 27 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

April is Autism Awareness Month and is necessary to inform the community at large about how autism affects individuals, Families and their communities. It’s also an opportunity for individuals and organizations to show support for and acceptance of those directly affected by an autism spectrum disorder.

ASD is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is called a “spectrum disorder” because it affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. It is the fastest growing developmental disability and occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Early diagnosis of ASD leads to early intervention. If children are diagnosed by age 3 and can receive specific, appropriate community-based services and supports as they age, they are more likely to work and live on their own as independent adults.
The Fort Huachuca Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member Program, EFMP, is here to help those who have questions about ASD, other medical or educational conditions or enrollment in the EFMP. Program personnel partner with military and civilian agencies to provide services and links parents with appropriate special education school officials, local support agencies and medical providers.

ACS has an EFMP information and referral file with booklets, brochures and flyers and a lending library with books and videos that cover a wide array of special needs including ASD.

For more information, contact EFMP at 538.5899 or 533.6871.

Baby Boot Camp breastfeeding class
Join ACS personnel for a Baby Boot Camp class on April 17, 3 p.m., at the ACS building. Annette Mueller, an RN, BSN and international board certified lactation consultant, will be teaching and answering questions regarding “everything you need to know about breastfeeding.”

Ceremony to recognize volunteers
Fort Huachuca’s Army Volunteer Corps is hosting the Annual Volunteer Luncheon on April 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre. The Military, Civilian and Youth Volunteers of the Year will be awarded, and volunteers wil be recognized and honored. Contact 533.3107 or jennifer.n.rickert.naf@mail.mil for more information.

Are you resilient?
The Army has been pushing the word “resiliency” a lot over the past three years but who really stops and thinks about its meaning? Resiliency is when something is able to return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. It’s bouncing back after adversity, especially after feeling depleted from a permanent-change-of-station move, starting a new job or even having medical issues.

It’s important for people to take the time to care for themselves. There are five dimensions of strength that are expressed in resiliency training: Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Family and Social.

Here’s an Emotional tip. Daily expression and reflection of feelings such as gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness can promote balance within one’s nervous system, leaving a person feeling more rested, calm and alert throughout the day. Look for the upcoming Resilient Spouse Academy featured May 12 – 16 at Murr Community Center to learn more about the dimensions of resiliency and how to use them in daily life as a thriving military spouse.

For more information and to register, call 533.3107.

New parents get at-home support
The New Parent Support Program, or NPSP, on Fort Huachuca is a home visiting program free to active duty and retiree Families, who are pregnant or have infants and children up to the age of 3. Program personnel serve Families who live on post or live within a 50-mile radius of Fort Huachuca.

NPSP is supported by a professional nursing staff with a background in maternal child care. Parents receive support and knowledge about how to provide a safe and stimulating environment as well as information about how children learn and grow.

For more information, call Terrie Gibson RN, BSN, at 533.8961.




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