Autistic Resilience Network connects clients with resources through the Sue Milos Joy Program

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:45 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The mission of the Autistic Resilience Network is to support individuals with autism and related conditions by meeting their unique needs and empowering their resilience.

Cady Stanton, executive director, and Maricela Gutierrez Rodriguez, board chair, stopped by Morning Break to share the resources they offer and why it can be hard for people with autism to ask for help.

Stanton opened up about her own experience with autism in the hopes that others watching can see beyond the diagnosis to who each individual person really is. She explained that those with autism often experience a lot of social rejection simply existing in the world so the idea that someone would help them seems far-fetched. And because many people on the spectrum are isolated, they often don’t have anyone in their social world to ask for help. That’s where ARN comes in to fill the void.

A big part of ARN is the annual Sue Milos Joy Program. Sue and Mike Milos were supporters of and donors to ARN. Sue passed away earlier this year from a sudden, aggressive cancer and so the program has been named in her honor. Every holiday season ARN connects autistic community members with those in the community who are looking for a way to reach out to someone else.

In the past, the program has provided bedding to kids who had just been gifted new bunkbeds; a back-up camera for a teenager learning to drive; an iPad with assistive technology and an adaptive keyboard for an autistic senior who was blind; a couple months’ salary for an autistic college student on scholarship who was really struggling working in a loud coffee shop while also taking a heavy load of classes and volunteering at a research lab.

There are lots of ways to get involved in ARN’s mission, but the biggest need is monetary donations so they can continue to help the unique needs of each client. To learn more about how to help, click here. You can also follow the Autistic Resilience Network on Facebook.