More than 30,000 people in San Antonio are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), stated the Autism Prevalence Assessment. With the launch of a new website, families will have access to refined resources.
On Tuesday morning, Morgan’s Wonderland and the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation presented Autism Lifeline Links (ALL), an online portal that will focus on helping individuals, families and professionals within the autism community in San Antonio. This will allow families to register and connect with clinicians, dentists, barbers, social services and other providers.
These referral agencies include Any Baby Can, Autism Community Network, Autism Treatment Center, The Arc of San Antonio, Brighton Center, Comprehensive Autism Program (CAP) Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Respite Care of San Antonio and Special Reach.
“It is a collaboration with a number of agencies who are devoted to helping families with autism as well as a new-based platform. It is the first-of-its-kind in the nation not only for the clinical services, but also the social services and the families,” stated Tullos Wells, managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. “It is going to be one of the most important services for the autism community in San Antonio.”
ASD and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development, stated Autism Speaks. These disorders are characterized in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
A big challenge many families have faced is the lack of coordination between organizations and providers leaving those diagnosed with the disease or caring for someone with autism not knowing what kind of access they need. Two diagnosis are never the same, therefore nor are the services each individual, caregiver and family needs.
Wells has been focused for the past 18 months on how to make a difference in the autism community by asking himself and the members of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation important questions including: What can we do to help these families? What were the families and caregivers’ biggest frustrations? Once the individual is diagnosed, where do caregivers and families turn?
“If you Google autism in San Antonio, you can go to dozens of places. Sometimes, people would go to one place, filled out a form, made an appointment, and then the doctor’s office says, ‘We can’t help you here, you have to go to another place,’” expounded Wells. “This doesn’t only happen here, it happens all around the planet. Once you log into Autism Lifeline Links, you are invited into a well-established platform that lets you communicate with every service provider you need including chronicle and social services.”
Autism Lifeline Links are now addressing those challenges and break down these barriers between families and providers.
The ALL website makes it easy for families and providers to get the quick access they need. If families visit www.autismlifelinelinks.org, they will need to fill out the registration form by a caregiver, professional or individual who has ASD. Once registered, a care coordinator is immediately assigned and makes contact to handle referrals.
Care coordinators will be available to clients from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.