Summer program for teen girls with autism

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URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - The Family Resiliency Center has a summer program for teen girls with autism.

The group is partnering with U of I to teach girls about navigating relationships, building independence with budgeting and transportation, hygiene care
and so much more.

One of the members of the group says it goes far beyond the basic everyday necessities - it also has to do with social media.

"Kids with this diagnosis might struggle from just talking about it to implementing it. So we actually make online profiles to show what these
things look like both on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to really get an idea of this is what profiles look like and these are things to be
aware of when you're going online and how to keep yourself safe" said Dr.Cohen.

She says kids with autism struggle with physically interacting with other kids and use social media as their escape goat. She wants to warn them as she would warn all kids about the dangers of social media.

The group says the reason they decided to target girls isn't only because they are women themselves, but because girls and boys are very different.

"Boys tend to be diagnosed more frequently than girls and girls tend to be under-diagnosed. Not because they don't have autism, but because it goes unnoticed and girls with autism tend to present a little differently than boys," said group leader Erin Long.

The conversations will be held July 9-13 from 1-4 p.m. at Doris Kelley Christopher Hall.  For more information, contact the UI Autism Clinic at
ulautismclinic@illinois.edu or 217-300-6773.

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