The Autism Society of the Black Hills was founded in October of 1997. We are a nonprofit affiliate of the Autism Society of America (ASA). The Black Hills Chapter is one of 225 ASA Chapters in the United States. We have joined to enable all families and others associated with an autistic, Asperger’s or Pervasive Development Disorder individual to have access to support groups, meetings, additional information and resources. So much can be accomplished when parents and professionals join together to advocate for their children. Our goal is to provide information, support and encouragement to those families and individuals in need.
Symptoms of Autism
Communication: Language develops slowly or not at all, use of words without attaching the usual meaning to them; communicates with gestures instead of words; short attention span.
Social Interaction: spends time alone rather than with others; shows little interest in making friends; less responsible to social cues such as eye contact or smiles.
Behaviors: may be overactive or very passive; throw frequent tantrums for no apparent reason; may perseverant on a single item, idea or person; apparent lack of common sense; may show aggressive or violent behavior or injure self.
There are differences among people with autism. Some individuals mildly affected may exhibit only slight delays in language and greater challenges with social interactions. They may have average or above average verbal, memory or spatial skills but find it difficult to be imaginative or join in a game of softball with their friends. Others more severely affected may need greater assistance in handling day to day activities like crossing the street or making a purchase.
Our programs include a winter swimming program and summer Exploring Sports, Sensory Music Time, Day camps and Lego robotics. Our professionals include Special Education teachers and School Psychologists that customize each program to include fine and gross motor skill exercises while incorporating social and communication skills. Programs are subsidized by our fundraisers to provide an affordable program for parents.