A new support group in Sahuarita, Arizona now meets on the second and fourth Thursdays in the month, at the Rancho Sahuarita Clubhouse. The group is affiliated with the Tuscon Alliance for Autism, and was originated by Edna San Miguel, the parent of a young-adult son with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Cheryl Miller, assistant director of Disability Resources at the University of Arizona, was a guest speaker in a recent meeting, commenting on how many students with disabilities may see themselves as a different: “Barriers prevent participation. We work around barriers. Our office assists to make accommodations so conditions are suitable for every student.”
Miller said Disability Resources have been an integral part of the University of Arizona since 1971, well before the Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990. She added that some ASD students learn best by seeing and visualizing, while others process information best by listening and hearing, and others learn best with hands-on, tactile activities.
Darren and Debbie Johnson are parents of a teenage son who was diagnosed at age 9 with Asperger syndrome, a type of ASD where linguistic and cognitive development are strong. “After the diagnoses, things started clicking,” said Debbie. She added that it’s parents’ responsibility to let teachers know what’s happening with their children.
San Miguel’s son Chris has completed two years at Pima Community College, and has done well on a smaller campus.
The next meeting is Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rancho Sahuarita Clubhouse, 15455 S. Camino Lago Azul. Meetings are free, and information is available in English and Spanish.