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UW-Eau Claire Campus Autism Program
Receives $10,000 Donation for Research

RELEASED: Sept. 10, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire psychology students will have more opportunities to conduct research and serve local children diagnosed with autism thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Friends of Autism.

The money was raised through the eighth annual Friends of Autism Golf Classic held on Aug. 21 at the Silver Spring Country Club in Menomonee Falls and given to the UW-Eau Claire Campus Autism Program (CAP). The university autism program brings psychology students, children with autism and their families together and offers intensive behavior intervention.

"This funding will provide more research funding as well as present valuable learning opportunities for both the students and the children with autism they work with," said Kevin Klatt, UW-Eau Claire associate psychology professor and coordinator of the CAP program. "It's a real win-win situation for both the families and the students. There are very few universities that have students providing services to families and almost none providing research opportunities for undergraduates."

The Friends of Autism is a nonprofit, volunteer organization founded in 2000 by John and Karen Sauer, parents of a child with autism, and friends who believe autism should be a health priority. The Friends of Autism Golf Classic is one of several events the Friends of Autism holds each year to raise funds to support its mission of autism research, awareness, and education.

"Research shows that children with autism make the most gains if they receive intensive behavioral intervention — at least 30 hours a week — before age five. The university's on-campus program provides the therapy needed until the state and federal funding is secured for the in-home sessions," Klatt said. "Through the campus program, students work with children for up to 35 hours a week. This early intervention is of tremendous value to the children with autism. This funding will allow us to continue to provide needed services and research for families and children with autism."

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