Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Karen Lindgren spoke to South Jersey Magazine’s Madeline Maccar about building a more inclusive and supportive world for people with Autism and disabilities – during April’s Autism Acceptance Month, and beyond:
“We’re often a destination for people who have lost hope, for families all over the country whose loved ones can’t be served anywhere else,” says Dr. Lindgren. “It’s critical for us to involve our families and support them in identifying what is it they want their loved ones to be able to do. … Everybody has different priorities, and incorporating the family into those goals and their dreams for their loved ones is really critical.”
But even with those year-round efforts, the extra attention that an annual awareness campaign like World Autism Month organically generates does help chip away at the barriers to treatment, support, resources and services that might stand in someone’s way.
Dr. Lindgren notes that the nonprofit has partnered with the likes of Cooper University Health Care, Autism New Jersey and the state Department of Health to host an April 12 “whole-person, integrated healthcare conference,” which is intended to overcome a hurdle that carries long-term consequences.
“People with autism have barriers to access and have the need for integrated treatment that really looks at the whole person and not just one sliver,” she says. “The conference is bringing together professionals and physicians and healthcare providers to understand how we can start to recognize and break down these barriers to good health care. There’s barriers in the sensory, the understanding of healthcare professionals of the unique needs of people with autism, communication and advocacy for service, which cause people with autism to have less access or less high-quality healthcare.”
To read the entire article, visit: https://www.southjerseymagazine.com/article/3149/Building-a-Community-All-Year-Long