Chilton Autism Network to ‘band together’ Oct. 13

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Chilton Autism Network, also known as “CAN,” will hold a kick-off meeting Oct. 13 at Clanton First United Methodist Church from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The meeting is free and open to parents, children, educators and others whose lives have been touched by autism.

Donna Jennings, CAN organizer, said the first meeting is a meet-and-greet, family fun night with food and inflatables. Information on CAN and autism will be available.

CAN is a parent-led support network for families affected by autism spectrum disorders in Chilton County and surrounding areas.

CAN operates in partnership with the Autism Society of Alabama and holds monthly meetings and social events for children with autism and their families.

Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, defines autism as “a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).”

According to, statistics show one child in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

CAN’s primary purpose is to provide parents with a place to receive information, find answers to their questions and share their experiences.

Meetings will consist of educational programs, social events or discussions. CAN will provide free childcare for parents who attend the meetings.

CAN has an Individual Education Plan program scheduled for Nov. 10 at the Clanton FUMC gym from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Donna Jennings at, call (205) 258-0178 or visit