New film elucidates traumas of those living with autism
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May 16, 2014

Autistic Global Initiative moves to Colorado to collaborate with JFK Partners to bring awareness to autistic adults

AparadizURORA, Colo. (May, 2014)  While much focus is paid to children with autism, what happens to these children when they become adults?  The CU School of Medicine’s JFK Partners is collaborating with The Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a national level program that shares the task with other disability organizations by developing initiatives that brings greater awareness to the growing population of adults with autism. The program itself is staffed and self-directed by adults with autism.

The first collaboration of these two groups will be the premiere of the film, Autism and Trauma, produced by Dr. Valerie Paradiz, executive director of AGI (pictured).  The film features adults with autism as they discuss the effects of trauma in childhood and their survivorship stories as adults. Many people with autism experience trauma and are bullied at school or as adults, harassed at the workplace or in public, often leading them down the difficult path of developing other disorders such as PTSD.

"We are determined to get this important message out there, not only for adults who need support in recovery from trauma, but also for children with autism and their families,” says Paradiz. By screening the film with JFK partners, AGI kicks off a series of national initiatives aimed at bringing awareness to this still hidden, yet pervasive, problem. The country remains uninformed of the urgent need for capacity-building in education, research, employment, housing and residential support, and community involvement for adults.

"With the program’s recent move to Boulder,” she adds, “we are building strong relationships across Colorado and in neighboring states with service organizations, hospitals, schools, universities, family advocacy groups and self-advocates with disabilities. AGI leadership feels that solutions to many of the issues that face our community in adult services and adult life can be found within the adult autistic population itself. By designing and directing initiatives specific to adult concerns and to those who provide support to adults, AGI aims to be a part of the solution to the demand that lies ahead.” JFK Partners values this initiative and is pleased to join with AGI in these efforts.

JFK Partners is Colorado’s University Center for Excellence (UCE) in Developmental Disabilities, an interdepartmental program of the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry; it has been a program of the CU School of Medicine since 1965. The program provides interdisciplinary education, clinical service, research, technical assistance, community collaboration, and dissemination programs through funding from the Maternal Child Health Bureau/LEND, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), a state of Colorado line item allocation, and numerous federal grants and state contracts.

The film Autism and Trauma, will be shown on the Anschutz Medical Campus at 6PM on June 6, 2014 in Room 1102 in Education 2 South, go to  for more information. This film is open to the public.

More information about AGI may be found at: AGI FAQ