Coachella Valley Autism Society provides support for families

Amber Juarez, Staff Reporter

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in fifty-nine children have Autism. Between 1990 to the early 2000s, the number of diagnosed cases has increased tremendously.

Since the number of diagnosed cases has increased over the years, many organizations were created to spread awareness.

One organization here in the valley is the Coachella Valley Autism Society of America (CVASA), which helps support families of those with autism in the valley.

According to CVASA, autism is Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Some of the behaviors of autism are delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities.

There is no known cause of autism, but there has been an increase in awareness, programs and early diagnosis.

This valley organization offers many programs and resources, including Autism Parent Exchange Group, Group music therapy, LEGO club, Kids fit club, Teen Group and Young Adult Group.

All these programs are free for those with autism.

The Autism Parent Exchange Program is where autism parents can meet other autism parents and talk about their challenges and thoughts. This is meant to create a safe environment where parents can feel comfortable talking about their feelings.

These support meetings are every third Wednesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the CVASA Resource center located at 41550 Eclectic Street, Palm Desert, Calif.

The CVASA also offers on-site resources at the technology center, the resource library, and information packets.

The technology center includes a state of the art computer terminal with pecs software and Boardmaker Studio. Parents are welcomed to come and use the software to help children in school or at home.

While the resource library provides 800 books, videos and articles about autism and other related disabilities, the library is open to families, health care professionals and the education community. You can check-out up to three items at no-charge for two weeks at a time.

The information packets are guides that are put together by CVASA. It includes information on local, state and national resources, as well as medical and therapeutic information. These packets are free and are very beneficial for families and teachers that have a child that has recently been diagnosed. English and Spanish packets are available.

The CVASA’s main mission is to provide lifelong access and opportunities for individuals within the autism spectrum and their families. They want families to keep a positive attitude while learning new knowledge on autism.

Their sixth Annual Autism Walk and Resource Fair has been postponed to Saturday, April 11, at the Palm Desert Civic Center Park.

For more information about Coachella Valley Autism Society, visit