Anderson Children's Foundation

Autism Society of America Coachella Valley

Virtual Social Activities for Children with Autism (2021-2022)

Our mission is to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We provide critical programs and services for children and adults with autism and their family members across the lifespan. This includes guiding families through a new diagnosis or a tough spot in their lives; empowering and equipping families and individuals to navigate the numerous systems they will encounter; providing opportunities to explore and learn new skills, deepen existing passions, practice social skills, physical aptitude and find new friends; and identifying gaps and systemic issues and then working to solve these issues.

Our Virtual Social Activities serve children with autism and other developmental disabilities and their sibling's ages 3 to 17. Activities allow children and teens to stay connected, exercise, and have healthy social outlets by participating in meaningful and fun social programs weekly via Zoom and Facebook Live. Programs include Group Music Therapy (increases fine & gross motor skills and communication through the love of music), Art Class (improving confidence and self-expression through the arts), FUN Fridays (stories, exercise, & sing-alongs with children's characters such as Cinderella, Spiderman and more), and our Bedtime Stories series (Kids snuggle up in their PJ's while listening to a bedtime story via Zoom and FB Live). Over half of our local families informed us that Social Recreation services are their most significant need. During 2020, when COVID hit, we quickly converted our 9 monthly programs into 34 monthly events. We help fill the need of acquiring and practicing play, communication, and social skills in a safe environment.

Contact: Juanita Hernandez, Affiliate Administrator

Autism Support and Social Activities (2018-2019, 2017-2018)

The Autism Society of America, Coachella Valley, also known as the Coachella Valley Autism Society of America (CVASA), exists to provide access and opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and the community through social activities, advocacy and education. We encourage families to maintain a positive outlook while acquiring knowledge and taking action to ensure the quality of educational and social programs for children with autism and related challenges.

The majority of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) suffer from problems with social, emotional, educational, and communication skills. CVASA is the only autism specialist in the Coachella Valley to provide social recreational programs that promote and encourage positive social interaction. A few programs include Music Therapy, Kids Fit Club, Hands on Art Program (HOAP), and our popular Friendship Lego Club. With the generous support of the Andersen Children’s Foundation CVASA will be able to continue providing autism support and activities to ensure the growth and impact on the social behavior and communication skills of children ages 3-18 on the spectrum.

The Autism Support & Social Activities program will serve children with autism and their siblings. CVASA will conduct a number of support and social recreation activities at the CVASA Resource Center and other partnering locations throughout the Coachella Valley. See program outline below.

  • Teen Social/Adventure Club
  • Kids Fit Club at CV Crossfit in La Quinta.
  • Lego Friendship Club at CSUSB Palm Desert campus. (Partner: Coyote Nursing Club)
  • Youth Group Music Therapy at Easy Speech Learning Center in Palm Desert.
  • NEW* Teen Group Music Therapy
  • Hands on Art Program (HOAP): “Parent & Me” art classes held at Old Town Artisan Studio in La Quinta.
  • Teen Hands On Art Program (HOAP)
  • NEW* Social Skills Group Program: Social Skills Group (grouped by age and ability between 5-17) sessions based on topics and activities and discussion such as conversations, making friends, problem solving, perspective taking, etc. to take place two times a month at Let’s Communicate Inc. in La Quinta by a licensed Language and Speech Pathologist. This program will also include parent training once a month to help assist in generalization of skills. In addition, we will also have sibling sessions to help siblings of autism better understand their brother or sisters needs and also allow siblings to have time to themselves and meet other siblings of autism in a fun and supportive environment.