A lot has changed in the 51 years since the Autism Society held the first National Autism Awareness Month in April of 1970. Today, we know there isn’t just one form of the condition. Modern diagnosis techniques are now able to identify disorders in social skills, speech, movement, and more across a wide spectrum of behaviors. While the subtypes vary greatly, they all share the need for greater understanding in common.

And also, for ensuring that no one falls between the cracks.

At BSAC, that’s where our Special Needs programs come in.

Concerningly, as autism has become increasingly prevalent, so has the call for raising awareness. The Centers for Disease Control reports that autism currently affects one out of just over 50 children in the U.S. Yet, it’s how those conditions play out in the daily lives of those afflicted that can be the most puzzling of all. Some require little assistance, while others face more daunting physical and problem-solving challenges.

In partnership with special needs education leaders in Hillsborough County, we’re proud to host our own Livingstone Academy Exceptional Center onsite as part of the BSAC campus. Livingstone Academy specializes in offering educational programming to those afflicted with various forms of autism and other conditions in grades 9-12.

Introducing Team T.R.I.D.E.N.T. 

The TRIDENT acronym stands for Training and Recreation for the Intellectually Disabled Enabling their Natural Talents, but it takes tangible form at BSAC in efforts to expand opportunities for active recreation, socialization, and education among autistic kids and adults. Not every student will be able live independently, but each can learn to maximize the strengths they bring to the table.

High 5 sponsors both day programs  to help close the gaps in care for students as well as older adults who can’t always help themselves. The goal is to create safe, nurturing environments where participants can improve their life-skills and become more integrated members of society.

To learn more, visit https://www.high5inc.org/special-needs-ed/