April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to celebrate the unique strengths and perspectives of individuals on the spectrum, offer our support, and recognize the incredible organizations advocating for them.

Dr. Donna Marie Hunter, founder of Allie’s Allys

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 1 in 54 children nationwide. Here in the Inland Empire, the numbers are similar, creating a tangible impact on our families and communities. It costs an estimated $17,000-$21,000 more per year to care for a child with ASD as compared to a child without autism, but those costs can be reduced significantly with early intervention.

Empowering our Community: Allies and Advocates

Two remarkable Inland Empire organizations are making a difference for families living with autism. Allie’s Allys, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing diagnosis disparities, focuses on underserved communities like African American and Latino populations. They achieve this through culturally-competent family education programs and community outreach. Their efforts ensure earlier diagnosis and intervention, which can have a profound effect on a child’s development. IECF is proud to support Allie’s Allys. In 2023, the organization was awarded a Technical Assistance Grant through the IE Black Equity Fund.

Providing Resources and Support: The Autism Society Inland Empire

The Autism Society Inland Empire (ASIE) is another vital resource. This nonprofit empowers individuals and families across the region throughout their journey with autism. ASIE offers comprehensive services, including informative workshops and seminars, supportive social groups, and crucial information and referral services. They also advocate for policy changes that improve the lives of people with autism. In 2023, IECF awarded the organization a grant through the Riverside County ARPA Fund to bring 21st-century work skills, career plans, and employment support to 12 adults with autism. Visit their website to explore resources and connect with their supportive community.

Celebrating Neurodiversity: Together We Can Make a Difference

Join us in celebrating the diverse perspectives and talents of individuals with autism. By supporting organizations like Allie’s Allys and ASIE, we can grow in understanding and create a more inclusive Inland Empire where everyone can thrive.

Learn more about the good work we’re doing at IECF through the power of philanthropy. Subscribe to our free monthly eNewsletter, Philanthropy Matters.

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