Clifton For Kids To Help Raise Funds And Awareness For Autistic Children

clifton_ave_When Lakewood residents go shopping TODAY Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 19, on Clifton Avenue in Downtown Lakewood, not only will they find what they need, but, when shopping in stores participating in the “Clifton for Kids” program, between 5% and 10% of their purchases will go to benefit the autistic children in our kehillah.

Coordinated by Jerseys Association for Autistic Children (JAAC), a non-profit group in Lakewood organized by those who are experienced in dealing with autistic children, the event serves many purposes. It helps bring customers to local Clifton Avenue establishments, enables JAAC to raise funds to help autistic children, and, most importantly, is a vehicle through which people can learn about autism and how, with timely intervention and proper therapy, it is treatable.

The main issue with those diagnosed with ASD – the official classification for autism – is that they look just as any typical, healthy child. They develop the same way as any other child and usually don’t suffer from any physical impediment. Autism, PDD/NOS and Asperger’s are neurological disorders that affect one’s social skills. The behavior may have children classified as loners and the disorder can go undetected. Many of these children are bright and have tremendous mental capabilities. Once they’re taught through therapy how to interact with others, they can be mainstreamed into normal classroom settings and live normal lives.

Young children learn a lot from watching others and pick up on how to interact with one another. Many autistic children don’t make eye contact, denying them that capability of learning from others. With proper intervention and therapy, this can be addressed.

JAAC has stepped up in this field by doing research, providing support groups and workshops for parents with autistic children, offering financial assistance to families, and helping people obtain insurance coverage for therapy. Private insurance companies are required by law to cover such therapy, although it is not covered by Medicare. JAAC gives families that are unable to afford regular insurance coverage the means to acquire insurance, providing a savings of tens of thousands of dollars annually.

The main goal of the Clifton Avenue effort, though, is to raise awareness of autism amongst the general kehillah, educating people regarding the help that is available and the fact that many autistic children can be mainstreamed and lead productive lives.

When you go shopping on Clifton Avenue this Sunday, remember that your purchases will help special-needs children and their families. Make an effort to go shopping and show your support, and mention to the store clerk that you are “Shopping for the Kids.” The sponsors of this event are Pine Park Kitchens, Piccolino, EII, Creative Kids, Bagel Nosh, A Shoe Dream, Tafi’s, Toys-4-Thought, and Fashion Stop.

For more information, email [email protected]. Submitted by JAAC.

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  1. all i can say is thank you, unfortunatley not many people know about this, my beautiful nephew, he is autistic, he is almost 13 yrs, he is none verbal, he is so loved by our family and we include him as much as we can, people need to be educated more, thank you clifton for kids for this. bless you all

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