Ameren donates $30,000 grant to Easterseals’ Autism Collective’s Family Navigation services program

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Ameren Illinois and Easterseals Central Illinois are continuing to make strides in supporting local families living with Autism.

The power company presented the nonprofit with a $30,000 grant Monday morning.

“We’re so happy to partner with them and have them here in our community,” Andrea Parker, Director of Gas Operations for Ameren Illinois, said. “We can’t thank them enough for all that they do for these families.”

Representatives with Ameren said the company has supported Easterseals for years and has donated $300,000 to its Early Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Clinic to help make a difference in the lives of those with Autism.

Monday’s grant will go toward Easterseals’ Autism Collective and family navigation assistance program.

The program, which is a collaboration with OSF HealthCare’s Children’s Hospital, helps families and caregivers with ways to connect to services such as education, treatment, medical and community-based services for children with Autism.

“I cannot tell you how much this [the grant] means and how timely this is,” Steve Thompson, President and CEO of Easterseals, said. “Over the weekend, we learned that the Centers for Disease Control has announced that the prevalence rate for Autism is now 1 in 44.”

“Previously it was 1 in 54, and I can remember back in 2000 when the prevalence rate for Autism was 1 in 150.”

He said the donation will help fund critically needed services.

It sends a signal to every family that yes, our children matter,” Thompson said. “And whether it’s corporate donors, individual donors, foundations, this community rallies behind those who need this kind of service and support.”

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