Louisiana parents of autistic children have a new resource after the Baton Rouge Area Foundation helped to launch a website full of information about benefits and resources. Director of civic leadership initiatives Lauren Jumonville says they hope to help point parents in the right direction.
“We saw that parents are having such a struggle in identifying resources and understanding what the next step should be once they get this diagnosis of some kind of developmental disability,” Jumonville said.
Jumonville says they went around the state cataloging all the resources that exist for people with disabilities. She says the website La.ExceptionalLives.org offers a variety of resources, including traditional ones like physicians and therapists, as well as others.
“Some non-traditional like dentists who have experience working with children with sensory issues and summer camps where they exist in our state so that parents can have some relief and their kids can have great opportunities,” Jumonville said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate one in 68 children are born with autism every year. Jumonville says there are a lot of great organizations that help families of people with disabilities, but parents need to find those resources, which is why BRAF launched the site.
“A lot of parents are searching for things like this late at night when organizations aren’t open. So whatever we can do to ease their burden in a calm supportive way, we really hope this website will be able to do,” Jumonville said.