Utah Valley University Autism Center
Utah Valley University (UVU) will move forward with plans to design and construct a campus autism facility dedicated to community members, employees, and educators. Recently, doTERRA provided donations to help with the development of the center. doTERRA’s monetary donations will be used for playground areas and sensory landscaping for the center. Aside from the initial donation, doTERRA has also committed additional funds to help the facility through 2017.
The UVU Autism Initiative Committee has pushed the development of the autism center forward by increasing autism awareness and support in the community. Each year, one in 54 children in Utah is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, making UVU an optimal spot for a facility of this nature.1 It is often difficult for families to deal with an autism diagnosis, especially when it comes to young children. It can even be difficult for parents to detect autism in their child, since many developmental disorders are often mistaken for conditions like Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Oftentimes, when kids experience stress because of learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, or sensory integration problems, doctors and parents have a difficult time distinguishing between autism and ADHD, since many of the symptoms overlap.2
Though many symptoms of autism are similar to those of ADD or ADHD, children with autism need special assistance, especially when it comes to their learning environment. As Utah Valley parents and community members gain access to resources designed specifically for autism, it will be easier for them to navigate the often frustrating nature of autism spectrum disorder. The autism center at UVU will provide special sensory rooms and playgrounds to cater to children’s motor skills, and therapy rooms for counseling, diagnostics, and more. For adults with autism, the facility will provide non-credit college courses that will help the students learn necessary life skills, thus gaining a greater sense of independence.
Speaking of the donations made on behalf of the center, UVU President, Matthew S. Holland, says, "We will soon have a dedicated structure because of the generosity of individuals and companies who understand the urgent need for additional resources dedicated to autism." doTERRA looks forward to contributing to the facility’s needs in the future, as the UVU Center for Autism provides a haven for families throughout Utah.