Hi, I’m Carole Kalvar. I’ve been a member of AHA for about 12 years.
I attended support meetings seeking advice and information for myself and my husband as we coped with the challenges of raising our son who at age 16 was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified was a term used to indicatie that an individual has some characteristics of autism spectrum disorder but does not easily fit other more well defined categories). I became a board member probably about 9 years ago. I really became intensely involved with the workings of AHA when I volunteered to create a member database after seeing a post in the AHA newsletter seeking members with database skills. Over the last decade I have developed many automated tools that have been incorporated into the database including membership and school placement tracking and conference registration tools and reports. I have also contributed several articles to our newsletter, now called On The Spectrum, often drawing on my experiences as a mother of an individual with ASD. For a short period I also assisted Bernice Polinsky with facilitating the support group for parents of adolescents and adults on the spectrum. I’m currently working closely with Pat on creating our Resource Survey and Resource Database. This new tool will greatly enhance our ability to help other families who reach out to AHA for assistance. I’ve been through several phases in AHA’s evolution. For many years we worked out of spare bedrooms and basements, answering hotline calls from dedicated telephone lines in our board member/volunteer’s homes. Now we have a wonderful headquarters in Amityville, NY and even a satellite office in Manhattan. We’ve become a well respected organization in the field of autism advocacy, education and support.
Here’s to the continued growth of AHA in 2012 and many years to come.