Autism night addresses parent concerns |

Autism night addresses parent concerns

Gina Barker, The Park Record

Summit Pediatrics is disseminating information to parents, serving as a monthly resource offering monthly classes covering childhood healthcare topics such as asthmas and attention-deficit disorders. The local pediatric office is scheduled to host its largest monthly discussion on autism and the challenges presented to parents and guardians Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the practice located on 750 Round Valley Drive.

Liz Wall, a parent and special needs advocate serving Summit Pediatrics, helps organize the events and has invited two prominent figures from the autism services community of Utah. Speaker Janet Wade is the director of Easter Seals Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain, a nonprofit that provides services for children and adults with disabilities and other special needs, including family support. Utah Parent Center Coordinator Gina Pola-Money will also speak about services available to families of special needs children.

"Both women are coming up and speaking separately about the resources available to families," Wall said. "It will be the ABC’s of autism, a really good event that will be educational and an opportunity to connect these families. We do not want parents feeling isolated."

The events started last August and allow parents to mingle and create a support system on differing health issues. Promoting the events via email blasts and on social networking sites, Summit Pediatric has reached out to patients but now hopes to extend the free service to the rest of the community.

"For the feedback on Facebook and in email, parents are grateful to have these events to go to," Wall said. "The people we are bringing in are respected in their field, a great resource of knowledge.

"And after the talks, that’s when see parents really open up, that they had no idea this or that incident was what was going on with their child."

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Wall said the events are an important reflection of the philosophy of care at Summit Pediatrics; beyond practicing medicine, the clinic is hoping to instill new ways of thinking in parents, a well-informed way of approaching healthcare and their children.

"This is a way of practicing medicine that encompasses the idea of family-centered care," Wall said.

"These talks can be an eye-opening experience for parents, who can realize what is really happening in their child’s behavior and how to address concerns. It’s a good thing for the community."

The event is free, open to the public and is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. To RSVP, call Liz Wall at 435-655-0926. For more information about services offered at Summit Pediatric, visit or call 435-655-0926.