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Organizations Partner to 'Celebrate Differences,' Offer Support for Parents

The move will help Plainfield Autism Support System expand its services, founder says.

A Plainfield support group and an Oswego non-profit are teaming up to offer support and resources for parents of children with autism.

of Oswego announced it is partnering with the Autism Support System (PASS) to expand its services.

Celebrate Differences is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. The organization was founded in 2007 by Oswego mom Rebecca Christiansen.

Inspired by Christiansen’s son Ryan, who was born with Down syndrome, the organization’s motto is “Celebrating the abilities of those with disabilities.”

PASS founder Debi Lockwood said she launched the Plainfield-based support group after moving to the village from Aurora. 

The mother of a 9-year-old son with autism, Lockwood said she was looking for a local support system similar to what she’d found with the Kane County Autism Information and Support Group, so she put out a call in the Grande Park subdivision's newsletter. She didn't anticipate the overwhelming response she got.

“I never intended to start a support group, but that’s the direction it went," Lockwood said.

Now, the two organizations are joining forces.

Lockwood said the partnership will allow PASS to expand its services and bring in speakers to share resources and information with parents. It will also expand PASS’ reach to other communities.

The group currently has 85 member families from throughout the area.

“It just didn’t seem fitting to call it ‘Plainfield,’” Lockwood said.

Celebrate Differences Autism Support System will continue to offer monthly meetings and playgroups at the Celebrate Differences headquarters at 5375 Route 34, Oswego.

For more information, visit www.celebratedifferences.org.

Isabelle July 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Celebrate Differences is such a great organization! I hear they are looking for used kids clothes for a fundraiser they are doing in september.

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