The Summit Foundation Helps Children with Autism Thrive
Knowing how to act in social settings can be difficult for many, but for children and teens diagnosed with autism, it’s nearly impossible to navigate the nuances of conversation and body language without help from specialists in child development. Thanks to a recent $15,000 grant from The Summit Foundation, 15 additional Social Skills groups at the Child Development and Autism Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital will help more children master these crucial life lessons with finesse and confidence.
“Our son Zachary participated in a recent Social Skills group and it was an amazing experience for him,” said KrisAnne Rosenzweig, a South Orange, New Jersey, resident. “Not only did he gain useful life skills, but he also made new lifelong friends. It was a fantastic program that he truly enjoyed and looked forward to attending each week.”
Children like Zachary learn to listen better, respect one another’s personal space and find ways to act appropriately during playtime with other children while participating in Social Skills groups at the Child Development and Autism Center. “Children with an autism diagnosis may or may not be aware of their social limitations, and our goal is to help teach them the skills they need to be as independent as possible when navigating social interactions,” said Kelly May, PhD, BCBA-D, a behavioral health clinician at the Child Development and Autism Center.
Watching children meet their highest potential is a priority at The Summit Foundation and why it generously supports pediatric initiatives and programs at the Child Development and Autism Center.
The Summit Foundation serves the greater community of Morristown and beyond by growing and granting philanthropic resources to address local needs. In the past ten years, it has invested $9.6 million through grants, scholarships, community-supported funds and donor-advised distributions throughout the region.
“Thanks to The Summit Foundation’s generous donations and grants since 2014, we can help so many more children and families in the community,” said Kelly. “For our original Social Skills groups, we were able to simulate a bowling alley in our center and taught the children in the group how to play by the rules and how to interact with others. Once we got to the bowling alley, we practiced the skills they learned, such as appropriate social interactions while playing. It is amazing to watch the progression of everyone and see friendships form.”
It is an ongoing labor of love for Kelly and the rest of the physicians, nurses and team members at the Child Development and Autism Center, including neurodevelopmental pediatricians, nurse practitioners, behavior analysts, psychologists, social workers, a speech therapist and educational consultants who all work toward elevating the health and wellbeing of children in the communities served by Morristown Medical Center.
For more information on the Child Development and Autism Center and its needs, please contact Gerri Kling, foundation officer, at 973-593-2414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.