MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — The Autism Alliance of Michigan has organized a series of events this Thursday. They come in two parts, a free health screening clinic and an Autism 101 training session. Both are open to everyone. 

Health clinic

“If we make this a healthier world, the better it is for people on the spectrum,” Belinda Lee, outreach and engagement specialist with the AAoM, said of the health screening opportunity. You can find it at the Marquette Commons from 4 to 7 p.m. where clinicians will be offering vaccinations, specialist referrals, and blood tests to screen for diabetes, kidney function, and other possible health issues.

The Wayne Mobile Health Unit is partnering with the AAoM to help make this happen. “Just taking the time out for these basic tests, it’s free and easy for you to get a blood test that could make a huge difference in your life. Diabetes can be incredibly crippling, as can other health effects we are screening for,” said Lee.

Autism 101 training

The training is set to start at 6 p.m. and will also be at the Marquette Commons. Lee says everyone interested should attend the training, “because autism occurs at the rate of 1 in 36 individuals, so most people are going to come in contact with someone who is on the spectrum.”

Topics expected to be covered include basic understandings of autism, tips on how to interact with people on the spectrum, methods to support students, and a look at ways to improve that communication.

When asked what one thing she would want someone who can’t make the training to know, Lee said, “realize one thing that’s important for everybody on the spectrum — they’re just like everyone else, they’re a person. They deserve to be respected, they deserve for us to take a moment out to understand how to best reach them, because it’s much like a different language. So take that time out, slow down a moment.”

The AAoM asks you register ahead to attend the training. To learn more about the Autism Alliance or explore their online resources, you can head to their website.