This question came to us January, 2019. The answer includes many local resources for children on the spectrum. Read on…
“I’m moving to the Eugene area from Florence in coming weeks. I have a 4 year old son who will be 5 in May and I wanted to get information on schools that may be appropriate for him and other supports. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it. I’ve spoken to Bobbie Spencer here at EC-Cares, and apparently there’s an appropriate program for kids similar to him that may be full. I’m trying to gather information because I want to make sure he can be successful in school. (There was a school in Texas where he had experiences I would like for him not to ever have again.) Info on advocates, should we need their assistance would also be appreciated.
I am also on the spectrum and have what was once called Aspergers. So I’m also interested in social groups for women and moms, or families in general.
For your child, the best referral I can provide is ECCARES, a service from the University of Oregon which provides free assessments and pre-school services to children with Developmental Disabilities. They would be a great starting point for your inquiries. (541) 346-2578, (800) 925-8694
Also located on the University of Oregon campus is a branch of Oregon Health and Sciences University (Portland) called the Child Development Referral Center where you can find pediatricians, speech therapy, behavioral specialists and other help. https://www.ohsu.edu/xd/health/child-development-and-rehabilitation-center/clinics-and-programs/cdrc-eugene-programs/index.cfm
If you are moving from out of state, your son may have to apply for services. Contact Developmental Disabilities of Lane County 125 E. 8th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401; 541-682-3695.
We have a wonderful advocacy agency here, to support your son, Direction Service. https://directionservice.org/
I would also refer you to Bridgeway House, a local autism non-profit who operates a school and other supports for families. http://www.bridgewayhouse.org/
KindTree has quite a few groups and classes for adults on the autism spectrum which you may find of benefit to yourself:
We have numerous groups and gatherings. All of these activities are free of charge:
- The first Monday of the month is from 4–5:30 pm in Cottage Grove at the Healing Matrix, E. Main St. & 7th, Cottage Grove. It’s facilitated by an autist who used to attend our Eugene group.
- The second group is on the 2nd Monday of the month from 4:30 to 6 pm at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on 13th and Pearl. It’s facilitated by a non-autistic facilitator.
- On the Second Friday of the month we have a social for adults and students transitioning out of high school, and their friends, family or staff. This takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Reality Kitchen, 645 River Road, Eugene, OR 97404.
- Our social skills class is on the 3rd Monday of odd-numbered months (January, March, May, July, September and November) from 6:30 to 8 pm at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (above). Here we pick an activity and time for an activity on the following even-numbered month. Autism Society sponsors the group and the activity.
- We also offer classes (“trainings”) at various locations. If your son qualifies for DD (developmental disabilities) services, they can be paid for with Medicaid vouchers. Otherwise it’s private-pay.
There are also sporadic events, such as our annual dance/fundraiser in May and other events, some free and some not. Admission is generally pretty affordable.
We also offer life skills “trainings” (classes) at various locations, but the youngest age level we serve is 11 years old. These are not free. If your son qualifies for DD (developmental disability) services, they will be eligible for services funded by Medicaid dollars. Otherwise, it’s private pay.
Our flagship program is our annual Friends and Family Camp for persons with autism and their families. This happens in August and is a one-of-a kind experience of community and support.
For more information, contact KindTree: