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Autism Program To Open Second Location Inside Former Elementary School

OUCARES, based at Oakland University, will offer classes like yoga and drawing inside a former Rochester Hills elementary school.

One of the Rochester-area community's most innovative and resourceful autism programs will open a second location inside a former Rochester Hills elementary school.  

Starting in February, Oakland University's Center for Autism Research, Education and Support, also known as OUCARES, will offer programs at Meadows School, part of the Avondale Schools district.

Drawing, volleyball and yoga, as well as classes on social skills, are some of the opportunities that will be offered at the Auburn Road school.

"We've demonstrated success with our parents and with the community, and we've had a tremendous response to the autism programs we offer," stated OUCARES director Kathy Sweeney in a press release.

"This opportunity allows us to open more quality of life programs and serve even more people in our community."

OUCares helps more than 1,500 families from across Oakland County and as far as Ann Arbor. Its mission is to promote understanding and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder through education, research and support and to improve quality of life for people impacted by ASD.

It is known for its summer film camp (which is led by Joey Travolta), as well as other summer camps and community symposiums.

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OUCARES is staffed mostly by volunteers.

Sweeney said OUCARES is working to raise awareness and acceptance of autism in the community.

"This opens up more learning experiences for everyone involved," she said. "It improves the overall community's quality of life because it improves our collective awareness and acceptance of people impacted with ASD."

Meadows School was an upper-elementary school in Avondale; it closed in 2010 because of budget cutbacks. 

To learn more about OUCARES programs offered both on the Oakland University campus and at Meadows School, visit oakland.edu/oucares or call (248) 370-2424.

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