POAC Prepares New Jerseyans For Autism’s Hardships [AUDIO]
POAC was founded in 1999 by a group of parents with autism to help improve the lives of children and adults with the disorder by providing training to parents, teachers and other direct service providers.
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The need for POAC's services, which they are the largest provider of, has become of greater need with New Jersey owning one of the highest autism rates in the country.
"The rate of autism in New Jersey, one out of every of 49 children in New Jersey has autism. That's more than aids, cancer, and diabetes combined," explains Gary Weitzen, Executive Director.
POAC provides help with everything ranging from training teachers, parents, emergency personnel to be better prepared for the disorder's hardships to hosting recreational events at no cost.
"We know to treat and reach children with autism. If we get these kids early, the gains they can make is astronomical," Weitzen said.
Weitzen said POAC held over 200 events last year that over 15,000 attended, while training more than 10,000 people. The charity prioritizes making a difference in the lives of children now at the heart of everything they do.
"We always say at POAC that you're part of the POAC family. We're there for support, calling us up and getting you the proper training and education," he says.
The most impressive thing about POAC is they are able to provide this range of services for autism, while operating on a shoe-string budget with no government funding. On top of that, the money is earmarked for the Garden State.
"All of the money that is raised stays right in New Jersey, 100 percent of it, and goes towards services," Weitzen said.
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