Autism Group Events


Rollerskating party has been postponed due to Winter storm Warning until Monday, March 20th ~ 6pm to 8pm~
Siouxland Autism Support Group
Rollerskating Party
Date:  February 23, 2017
Place: Rollerama
Stone Ave.  Sioux City, Iowa

Time:  6:00-8:00 pm

Cost:  $1 a person
no RSVP needed and all family members can participate

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Wandering by children with ASD and other developmental disorders is a significant safety concern.  It is estimated that more than 250,000 children with disabilities wander away from adult supervision each year.   Few researchers have looked at this major issue, and there has been little focus on prevention measures and the impact that wandering concerns have on families. 
Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is conducting a major national study about wandering, and we very much want you to participate.
It takes just a few minutes to complete the anonymous, on-line questionnaire.  If enough families complete our questionnaire, then:
  • We will have the most representative study done to date – giving voice to as many families as possible
  • We can help guide families like yours about which prevention strategies seem to be most effective
  • We can document the impact that wandering has on families in terms of activities and household stress
Please click HERE to complete the survey.  You may also go to to take the survey, request a copy of our results, and be contacted regarding a follow-up research project related to wandering.
We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.
Laura McLaughlin
Research Assistant
On behalf of:
Andrew Adesman, MD
Chief, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York
Professor of Pediatrics
Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
Northwell Health
Visit us at





Please let us know if you are wanting a book club through the Siouxland Autism Support Group.  It would be a time to get together with others interested in autism.

Siouxland Autism Support Group 

Book Club 

Book Title:  Uniquely Human by Barry M. Prizant

Contact person for the book club is Jen Comer.  

If you have any questions please contact her at 712-259-4016

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Experience of Parenting a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Hello, my name is Rebecca Glover and I am a graduate student at Washington State University in the psychology department. I am conducting research on the experiences of parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for my master’s thesis. I am inviting caregivers (e.g., biological parent, stepparent) of one child with ASD ages 4 to 10 years to participate. You may take part in this study if you have other children without ASD. Only one caregiver per household may complete the study.

Participation in this research includes taking two online surveys. You will be asked to take one survey now and then a second survey in one year. Each survey will take approximately 1.5 - 2 hours, for a total of about 3 - 4 hours for the entire study.

You will receive a $10.00 gift card from your choice of Walmart, Target, or Amazon for completing each part of this study, resulting in a total of two $10.00 gift cards. If you decide to quit the study you will not receive a gift card. Gift cards will be delivered either electronically via email or physically mailed to your home. If you receive payment for taking part in this study, you will be asked to provide your home address and email address.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in the research, I can be reached at Please feel free to share this information with any families that may be interested in participating in this study. This study has been approved for human subject participation by the Washington State University Institutional Review Board

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APRIL 30, 2017





Or Julie at



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Autism Society of Iowa 
February Newsletter

ASI Logo

Autism Insurance

Bill Update

Autism Bill Advances In House

ID Action has shared this update on the autism insurance bill. To read the entire ID Action INFONET, please click here



For the past decade, legislators have looked for different ways to pay for various services to individuals with autism. State employee insurance was directed to pay for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment for individuals who are diagnosed with autism.  Trying to avoid a broader insurance mandate, legislators created a state-funded program to pay for ABA treatment.  

This $3 million program has never been fully utilized, mainly because it takes a lot of time and effort on parents to apply for funding.  They must first show that they have exhausted all appeals with their own insurance providers, and then get written documentation from their insurer that they have denied services (which is hard to get).  Then they must apply for funding, and wait for approval.  Advocates say a much simpler way to address this is to have private insurers pay for ABA treatment, and have a much smaller program to pick up others who are uninsured or are covered by self-insured plans that would be exempt from an insurance mandate.

So after a decade of work, advocates can celebrate (a little...still more work ahead).  The House Commerce Committee passed House Study Bill 41, which requires insurers to pay for up to $36,000/year in ABA treatment for children up to age six, $25,000/year for children age 7-13, and $12,500/year for children age 14-18.  A companion bill (Senate Study Bill 1043) is being considered by the Senate Commerce Committee.  The House bill will be getting a new number and will be ready for debate sometime next week.

Let your legislators know if you support this bill -  click here to email your legislators.

Camp High Hopes

Scholarships For Summer Camp Now Available

Apply Today!

Camp High Hopes, located in Sioux City, Iowa, has received special funding to help offset the cost of camp for individuals diagnosed with autism. These camperships, provided by Autism Speaks, are for kids, teens, and adults with autism to help pay for the cost of Summer Sleep Away Camp or Summer Day Camp sessions. Register today! Spots fill quickly and camperships are limited. Go to for more information.


Iowa Miss Amazing Pageant

February 17 & 18, 2017

In Council Bluffs, IA

The Iowa Miss Amazing Pageant provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive and fun environment! The 5th annual Iowa Miss Amazing Pageant will be held on February 17 & 18 at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. 


For more information or to apply, click here. 

Theatre UNI to Tour Play for Youth with Autism Across Iowa

Theatre UNI will present "Palette of Possibility," a unique touring theatre production created by UNI theatre professor Gretta Berghammer and designed specifically to meet the needs of youth on the autism spectrum and other developmental delays, their families and typical peers. Concepts such as pretend play, shadows, light, the rain cycle, water play, beneath the sea and wind are explored through a variety of actor-generated experiences for the audience that rely on playful, non-verbal and movement-based interactions between the audience and performers. 


Shows are open to all youth and their families and will feature the hallmarks of best practices in production work designed to meet the needs of special learners including interaction, engagement, participation, non-restrictive seating, sensory friendly lighting and sound, multiple visual cues, low language and movement/gesture-based storytelling. The play is 45-60 minutes in length.


Public performances will be held in the following communities: 

Tuesday, February 14  6pm

Wilson Performing Arts Center, Red Oak, IA

Performance is FREE, Seating is limited

Call Kara Sherman at 712-623-3135 to reserve a seat 


Thursday, February 16  6:30pm

First Presbyterian Church, 1115 5th Avenue, Fort Dodge, IA

Performance is FREE, Seating is limited

"Tickets" available at the door OR in advance

Contact Beth or Rachell at 515-955-8326 to reserve a seat


Friday February 17  6:00 p.m./doors will open at 5:30

SW Community College Instructional Center, Room 180, Creston, IA

Performance is FREE; no ticket necessary BUT seating is limited

Call the Learning Center of Southwest Iowa to reserve your spot: 641-782-3849


Saturday and Sunday, February 18 & 19  3:00 p.m. each day

Des Moines Playhouse, 831 42nd St., Des Moines, IA

Ticket: $5.00 online:  OR at the door

For More Information contact: Anna Zimney, (515)


Adventures In Social Drama

Spring Break Opportunity!

Adventures in Social Drama Spring Break Class
When: March 13-17, 2017
Where: Des Moines Onstage, 2124 Grand Ave
Who: Typical and atypical learners age 10-15
Time: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Cost: $150.00 per student covers the entire week of sessions
Register today at or call (515) 306-0030, or for more information, click here.


ASI 5th Annual Autism Awareness 5K Run, Walk & Resource Fair - Creston, IA

Saturday, April 29  3-6pm   Register Today!

Creston High School - 601 W Townline Street
ASI will be hosting the 5th Annual Autism Awareness 5K Run, Walk & Resource Fair. Awards will be given to the Top Three Male and Female runners in each age division: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50+


Schedule Of Events:

3pm - Registration, Autism Resource Fair and T-shirt Pickup
4pm - Welcome, Autism Awareness Lap, Balloon Release and Start of 5K Run with Walkers to Follow
5:30pm - 5K Awards Ceremony
Adults-$25, Child (12 and under)-$15. Together we can solve the puzzle!


For more details on the event or to register, 
click here. 

Barefoot Autism Challenge

A Virtual Event During April

Hi, my name is Tyler. I have autism. I want to challenge you.  Whether you have autism or not, I want you to put yourself in the "shoes" of someone with autism--or rather take them off--and take part in the Barefoot Autism Challenge.  Go to a location like a park, a trail, a sidewalk, the beach, etc., and take the challenge by removing your shoes and submersing yourself in your environment.  Feel the earth.  Connect with it, and connect with yourself.  Then post a picture or video on social media and at the Barefoot Autism Challenge's Facebook page at  Let us know how it made you feel.  Most importantly, share what advocating for someone with autism means to you.  Challenge as many friends as you like using #barefootautismchallenge.


Iowa Family Support Network

Children At Home Grant Program

The Children at Home Grant Program has restarted for Iowa and is now distributed through the state of Iowa through the Iowa Family Support Network and it provides financial assistance.


Some of the qualifications include:

  • residing in Iowa
  • the child must meets the definition of developmental disability and be less than 22 years
  • services or items must help enable the child to remain living in the home
  • the family's net income must be less than $60,000.

It could cover:

  • special adaptive devices, nutritional supplements, respite care, camps, items to make your home safe, therapy not covered by Medicaid or insurance, or therapeutic equipment.

For more information, click here: 

Funding Support for

Anti-Elopement/Wandering Devices

By Iowa Compass

Assistive technology (AT) can help stop elopement or the wandering away of people with autism spectrum disorder. AT can be as simple as building a fence. It can be as complex as using GPS tags to locate someone who wanders away and gets lost. AT devices may be expensive. But there is funding support for families and caregivers of people with autism. 

To read more on funding, 
click here. 

The best advice from Iowa Compass: don't give up! Get in touch with us for more tips and support. Find Compass online at or call 1-800-779-2001.


Upcoming Classes, Camps, Workshops, Seminars, Webinars, Events & Meetings


NAMI Greater Des Moines

NAMI has new classes for 2017 scheduled and opportunities for presentations to your organizations and community groups. For a complete list click here.

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Support Across Iowa

Support groups are meeting all over Iowa including Spillville, Creston, Osceola and Shenandoah. For more information on support groups throughout Iowa, click here.  Let us know if your support group is meeting and keep us updated so we can help spread the word.

library.jpgAutism Research Studies

Lamar University Research Study Added!

The Autism Society of Iowa is contacted by universities doing research studies in the area of autism throughout the year.  In an effort to assist those in the autism research field and let families and caregivers be aware of participation opportunities, ASI has created a page on their website listing these studies. The Autism Society of Iowa does not endorse any student, study or college listed, but would like to make families and caregivers aware of studies available, that they can participate in.


To view a list of autism research studies to participate in, click here.

Autism Source

Support, Guidance And A Compassionate Ear
The Autism Society is now able to provide guidance and support to individuals and families 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday and on the weekends from 8am to 4pm! 

The Autism Source Information and Referral services provides one-to-one, expert guidance and support to tens of thousands of people each year who call, email and write with their questions and concerns-or who just need someone to listen. The Autism Source, is the nation's longest serving, largest and most effective provider of information and support to individuals and families impacted by autism. Spanish speaking support is also available.

If you, or someone you know needs support, guidance, or a compassionate ear, please contact them today:

Call:  1-800-3AUTISM