Posts Tagged ‘TEACCH’

Off topic: the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Care to help kids with autism? Need a year-end tax-deductible contribution? Please consider a contribution to the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund, which we’ve established in memory of our son.

The Jake Fund will provide a stipend to practicum students and interns learning to work with individuals with autism at the Raleigh TEACCH center, which is located in Garner. TEACCH  stands for Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-related handicapped CHildren.

Chris Nealy, a graduate student in UNC’s School of Social Work from Lumberton, N.C., is the first to receive a stipend from the fund.

“One of the goals of the TEACCH center is to train professionals from different fields — psychology, social work and more — to work with individuals with autism in order to increase the number of professionals available to meet the rising need for services for individuals with autism,” Mary Van Bourgondien, professor and clinical director at the Raleigh TEACCH center, told the Garner Citizen. “This fund enables us to attract students to the field and to partially support the efforts of these trainees.”

Jake, who had Asperger’s syndrome, volunteered with the Raleigh TEACCH center to speak before middle school and high school teachers about how they could help their students who have autism spectrum disorders. He was particularly concerned that they protect autistic kids from bullying.

“After high school graduation, he came back to the high school group to share his college experience and help those younger than him prepare for life after high school,” Van Bourgondien said. “He became confident and realized he had valuable information he could share to enhance the lives of others.”

Contributions to the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund can be sent to the Medical Foundation of North Carolina Inc., 880 MLK Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2600. Specify that the donation is for the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund.