Strive For Autism | Hunter Valley Autism Support Group
The Strive for Autism support group was formed in 2007 by a group of dedicated parents and friends of individuals who have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Originally formed to provide parents in the Cessnock area with a support group where they could come together to support each other by sharing stories and advice, it has developed over the years, becoming involved in many activities to raise community awareness and increase support for families and individuals with ASD.
As well as providing information to parents through guest speakers at its regular meetings and through the website, Strive has also contributed to public forums and made representations to government and the community on behalf of families living with ASD. In 200? Strive hosted “Sounds of the Spectrum” - an evening that included performers living with ASD at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. Strive hosted seminars in 2011 and 2016 to promote awareness of ASD amongst educators, health professionals and the wider community. Both seminars involved speakers renowned amongst the ASD community for their knowledge and insight including Wendy Lawson, Jeanette Purkis, Rachel Harris and Dr Lee Sturgeon. Through fundraising by members and the generosity of community sponsors, The group have been able to supply resources to schools to support students on the Autism Spectrum. Since 20**, the annual Strive Awards for school students in the Cessnock LGA have recognised student achievements, teachers, and other individuals working to improve the lives of people with ASD.
Since our formation in 2007 the group has developed a very large and useful resource library of information and contacts pertaining to ASD.
Who we are.
Strive for Autism is a not for profit group run by a committee made up of families who have children on the Autism Spectrum, teachers and others with an association with or interest in Autism.
What we do.
The main aim of Strive is to provide support to families and individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Our meetings provide information on a wide range of topics of interest to those living with Autism or working with individuals on the Spectrum. Past guest speakers have included professionals in the areas of psychology, speech, occupational and other therapies, service providers, parents and individuals on the Spectrum. Our meetings also provide a forum for families with questions and stories to share.
In 2011 and again in 2016 we were able to host seminars for around four hundred parents, teachers and interested individuals. These seminars were presented by nationally and internationally recognized speakers including Wen Lawson, Jeanette Purkis, Rachael Lee Harris & Dr Lee Sturgeon . Their great expertise and understanding has helped to improve the awareness and support for families and individuals living with Autism in our local community.
Our online presence through our website and our Facebook page is another way we connect with our members and the wider community. Our resources pages contains lots of contact details and our Facebook page provides another opportunity for families to support one another.
In addition to providing a platform for families to gather information and share ideas, Strive aims to raise funds to support local schools, and individuals on the Spectrum with resources and funding to help them to reach their potential. Regular fund raising events including our Bus trip shopping weekend away to Sydney this was our 8th year raising $4,050. Thanks to the support of our community and the generosity of our sponsors we have been able to provide many resources over the last ten years. In the last 10 years Strive in conjunction with our supporters has donated to local schools, sporting team & individuals resources, ipads, computers, Grants to help educate children on the Autism Spectrum.
Finally the annual Strive awards have acknowledged the hard work and achievements of students on the Spectrum and their teachers. Each participating school is able to nominate a student on the Spectrum to receive this award. These students receive a certificate and a $50 cheque. The Tim Austin Memorial award goes to a teacher who has gone above and beyond in supporting students on the Spectrum as an acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication