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Category : Heart of Detroit
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Air date: July 26, 2012

It may look like just another game, but even a simple group activity is a big deal for kids with autism. Bill: A lot of these kids because of their processing issues and sensory motor coordination problems and social/emotional regulation type things they have trouble integrating with regular public recreation so really they don’t have a lot of opportunity. Opportunity is what OU Cares is all about. Working with autistic kids to adults, OU CARES – part of the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, its goal is promote a better understanding of a disorder, which has mushroomed in recent years. Dr. Graetz: That spectrum is so broad that it makes it very confusing for people to understand just what Autism looks like Mitch Albom: There is an expression that speaks to that isn’t there? Kathy: When you met one person with Autism you’ve met one person with Autism. For autistic children, the simple act of making friends or doing group activities can be a major challenge. OU Cares makes that easier — and engaging. Kathy: The #1 thing that most of our families would say is their child has a place to come and be a part of a group and no one is pointing at them in the bleachers and saying oh look at that’s her son. I have had several times comments made where their son has said gosh I didn’t know there were other children like me. Bill: You have been in this program for probably a good six years haven’t you? Rebecca: Yeah it is about six years ago Bill: She is going to end up being the next coach when I get to old to run this program anymore. Rebecca: Yeah for sure Kathy: I really feel strongly that everybody can learn. Let those individuals with Autism make a choice and give them the choices to make because you will be surprised. OPENING THE WORLD FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN, OU CARES IS BROADENING THE HEART OF DETROIT.

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