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SEARCH Holds Open House April 9


SEARCH Opens Doors in More Ways than One

UCR autism resource center holds open house and lecture for concerned parties April 9, coinciding with Autism Awareness Month.

(March 31, 2009)

Jan Blacher, director and founder of SEARCH and professor of education at UCR's Graduate School of Education.

Jan Blacher, director and founder of SEARCH and professor of education at UCR's Graduate School of Education.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Visitors will have the opportunity to see UCR’s new Support, Education, Advocacy, Resources, Community, Hope (SEARCH) clinical office and learn more about autism during an open house on Thursday, April 9, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 pm at 1365 Sproul Hall. SEARCH director and founder Jan Blacher, professor of education, will also provide a lecture “The Autism Epidemic: Challenges for Families and Schools” from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 1339 Sproul Hall.

Blacher will briefly speak to what the rise in autism means for families and for the development of student-teacher-relationships, presenting data from SEARCH and affiliated research. She will also address the role of SEARCH at UCR and its potential for local collaboration in meeting the needs of families who have children with autism spectrum disorders.

To attend the open house, guests must RSVP by April 2 to Deidre Stowell at (951) 827-1493 or email deidre@ucr.edu

With six out of every 1,000 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, Blacher, who is a nationally known researcher, advocate and columnist, saw a need to bridge the gap between diagnosis and available services and began the process to establish SEARCH. Since its start up in late 2007 SEARCH has been responding to the needs of families affected by autism.

“Autism is complex and families need to know where to go for educational services once they discover their child is affected,” Blacher said. “SEARCH is available to assist with new educational needs that arise upon the transition to adolescence as well.”

SEARCH has developed a Web site with an online resource guide providing information about services in Riverside County and Southern California. Information on autism-friendly doctors and dentists, support groups as well as education services are also covered in the guide. Four researchers have joined the staff in the last year and provide community outreach as well as support within SEARCH.

SEARCH is recruiting parents for new group sessions to educate families about treatment options. The sessions are free and, upon completion of the program, also include a one-on-one session with a staff member who will provide input on their child’s current education program.

Overall, SEARCH specifically assists families with finding and learning about educational programs appropriate for children across the autism spectrum. The SEARCH Web site provides “Guideposts” for families as they work their way through the complex and lifelong educational process for children with autism spectrum disorders.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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