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Partner Spotlight

Penelope Brennell and Julie Roscoe: Educating Legislators

About Penelope and Julie: Penelope Brennell is a parent, advocate, presenter, and board member of the Gateway Chapter of the Autism Society of America (ASA) in Missouri. Julie Roscoe is a parent, advocate, president of Gateway ASA, and family crisis professional at Judevine Center for Autism in St. Louis, Missouri.

Penelope and Julie’s PTCP Project: Penelope and Julie partnered to coordinate and host a local legislative work day. The project stemmed from a desire to create awareness among legislators and others about autism spectrum disorders, the importance of early intervention, and the need for support for adults on the autism spectrum. By arranging for six young adults on the autism spectrum to work for the day in various Missouri state legislators’ offices, Penelope and Julie were able to show legislators in their state that individuals on the autism spectrum are able to live happy, productive, and independent lives.

Results and Next Steps: In addition to boosting the young adults’ self-esteem, the project increased awareness of the issues faced by children and adults on the spectrum and their families. The program has also had a positive influence on public officials, which has affected, and will continue to affect, legislation for all impacted families in Missouri. Penelope and Julie hope to one day take their program to Washington, D.C.

For more information on how you can reach out to health professionals in your area, visit the How to Get Involved page of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” website.

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