Art event in Aspen Saturday for children on autism spectrum |

Art event in Aspen Saturday for children on autism spectrum

Ascendigo Autism Services, a local nonprofit that provides year-round programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other cognitive disabilities, is partnering with the Aspen Art Museum today for a sensory-friendly art program customized for local children on the autism spectrum.

The activity will be interactive and engaging, allowing the participants to get their hands dirty and become artists for the day. By providing these varied opportunities that otherwise may not be available to these students, Ascendigo hopes to identify strengths and areas of interest within each individual so they can turn them into lifelong passions.

Ascendigo started in 2004 as a destination summer camp for people on the autism spectrum from all across the country. Now it has expanded into a multitude of therapeutic recreation opportunities for people of all ages as well as life enrichment services for those transitioning into adulthood. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Four years ago, Ascendigo launched an eight-week fall program for local school-age children and teens. The schedule for this program is action-packed with activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, lake and river sports, swimming, peer-to-peer socializing, music, arts and more. Ascendigo fundraises to cover more than 80 percent of the operating expenses of this program so that local families can participate for a minimal fee. A fundraiser is set for Thursday at Phat Thai in Carbondale.

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