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Autism Resources of the Mid-South

 

P.O. Box 341041

Memphis, TN 38184

901-509-3027

 

Mission Statement:

Improving the lives of all affected by autism through: family support, community awareness, and advocacy.

ARMS Vision Statement:

Autism Resources of the Mid-South is a leading voice and resource of the autism community in education, advocacy, and support.  ARMS is committed to meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.  The ARMS accomplishes its ongoing mission through close collaboration with a successful network of chapters, members and supporters.

ARMS Options Policy:

ARMS promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individual with Autism in the planning of individualize, appropriate services and supports.  The Board of the Autism Resources of the Mid-South believes that each person with autism is a unique individual.  Each family and individual with autism should have the right to learn about and then select, the options that they feel are most appropriate for the individual with autism.  To the maximum extent possible, we believe that the decisions should be made by the individual with autism in the collaboration with family, guardians and caregivers.

Services should enhance and strengthen natural family and community supports for the individual with autism and the family whenever possible.  The service option designed for an individual with autism should result in improved quality of life.  Abusive treatment of any kind is not an option.

We firmly believe that no single type of program or service will fill the needs of every individual with autism and that each person should have access to support services.  Selection of a program, service or method of treatment should be on the basis of a full assessment of each person’s abilities, needs and interests.   We believe that services should be outcome based to insure that they meet the individualized needs of a person with autism.

With appropriate education, vocational training and community living options and support systems, individuals with autism can lead dignified, productive lives in their communities and strive to reach their fullest potential.

Autism of the Mid-South believes that all individuals with autism have the right to access appropriate services and supports based on their needs and desires.

ARMS Guiding Principles:

  • The Autism Society of the Mid-South’s efforts are focused on meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
  • The ASMS promotes individual, parental and guardian choice to assure that people on the autism spectrum are treated with dignity and respect.
  • The Autism Society proactively informs, influences, guides and supports legislation that will improve the lives of all affected by autism.
  • The ASMS is a respected voice of the autism community and the primary source for information by providing timely, frequent, relevant and professional communication.
  • The ASMS works to ensure that every member is successful with support group meetings and community outings.
  • The ASMS advocated for multi-disciplined approaches to autism research focused on improving the quality of life for individuals across the autism spectrum and their families
  • The ASMS works to ensure financial self-sufficiency and growth to enable us to continue to help all those affected by autism.

The growing membership base of the ARMS encompasses a broad, diverse group of parents, family members and professionals.  Recognizing and respecting the diverse range of opinions, needs and desires of this group, the ARMS embraces an overall philosophy that chooses to empower individuals with autism and their parents or caregivers to make choices best suited to the needs of the person with autism.  Providing information and education to help in decision-making are more highly regarded at the ARMS than is advocating for one particular theory or philosophy.

 

ARMS Mission Areas:

The development of five “core competencies” as a means to implement the ASMS Mission and Vision is proposed the ARMS new strategic plan. Those areas include:

Advocacy

  • Proactively informing, influencing, guiding and developing public policy at the federal, state, and local levels in collaboration with the greater disability community
  • Advocating for multi-disciplined approaches to autism research
  • Advocating for inclusion, participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families

 

Education

  • Providing accessible and relevant information that supports stakeholder ability to make informed choices
  • Maintaining an authoritative body of autism information and knowledge
  • Supporting proactive community outreach and education

Support

  • Encouraging and fostering a strong grassroots network that is an integral part of a larger community
  • Creating local connections

Services

  • Building capacity within local communities for service delivery to individuals and their families

Research

  • Translating research results into applied practice in everyday lives
  • Identifying and promoting research that will improve the lives of people on the autism spectrum and their families

 

Quality of Life Indications

Our efforts must be focused around programs that improve the quality of life for people on the autism spectrum.  Programs are geared toward improving quality of life today and must reflect the following desired outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum:

  1. 1.       School Inclusion
  2. 2.       Friendship/Social Connection
  3. 3.       Health and Wellbeing
  4. 4.       Academic Success
  5. 5.       Autonomy
  6. 6.       Independent Living (to the maximum extent possible)
  7. 7.       Independent Employment (to the maximum extent possible)
  8. 8.       Subjective Wellbeing
  9. 9.       Recreation/Leisure

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