Champions for Children Adds New Program to Address Autism Needs



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Smith County Champions for Children recently added the Autism Education and Resources (AER) program (formerly the East Texas Autism Network) to its programs and services.

Since 1996, Champions for Children has been designing and implementing progressive programs that help at-risk children, support and coach their parents and caregivers, and train and equip the childcare providers that work with them. Champions’ programs serve children birth to 19 years.

“We believe early intervention is key to a child’s success in school and in life,” said Jackie Cannon, executive director of Champions for Children. “The Autism Education and Resources program ties in quite well with our existing programs. We want to be able to help all children. Many children enter kindergarten behind their peers. Once that happens, it’s very difficult for them to catch up. We can help prevent that with our programs.”

Champions offers counseling, classroom observations, professional teacher trainings, Brain Gym®, Music + Movement class, Irlen® Syndrome Screening, assessments and screenings for ADHD, development, behavior, anxiety and depression. The organization also has four major conferences each year for educators and parents.

“Autism Education and Resources will provide parents and caregivers of children on the autism spectrum with resources, referrals and up-to-date information. At the same the program will help them navigate the maze of available treatments, therapies, assessments, and diagnoses,” she added. “Together with our child development specialists and counselors, the Autism Education & Resources program provides families with a network of support designed to help every child reach his/her full potential.”

The first AER Discovery Class at Champions for Children is 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at 4883 Hightech Drive, Tyler. The class is $12 and registration is required. Call (903)592.1454 for more information.

Champions for Children is the only nonprofit in East Texas whose primary focus is quality early childhood education. It serves children, families, childcare centers, and preschool teachers in Smith County and 14 surrounding East Texas counties.

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