One non-profit is elevating its community with events that cater to those with autism.

Elevate the Spectrum is a nonprofit with the mission to empower communities to elevate individuals on the autism spectrum and their families through events designed to be sensory-friendly, said president Kristina Martinez. April is Autism Awareness Month.

Given the pandemic, Elevate the Spectrum is remaining flexible on when the next event will be scheduled. Members are planning Inclusion in Play, an event for families of all abilities to learn about resources and to play. It is set for 10 a.m. to noon May 30 at A Park Above, 2441 A Park Above Court.

With school no longer in session, members are doing a lot of advocacy work for children with autism, said Martinez. She said her son can’t learn like a typical child can with the online lecture and things like that.

“It is just not going to work for him, so we are advocating for a solution to that,” she said.

Her son is 12-year-old Boyd Martinez, and the family members have been doing their best to homeschool, Martinez said.

“Typically, a developing kid would bounce back from this and they’ll be able to catch up or at least maintain skills, whereas my son and many others won’t be able to,” she said. “It’s just lost time, and very possibly, if not definitely, regression, which is so hard when you’ve worked years to have them obtain a few skills and to lose those completely in a matter of months is heartbreaking.”

She says learning-wise they are stuck.

“He has a great teacher, and they are doing what they can, but we are trying to make sure that kids on the spectrum aren’t forgotten,” Martinez said.

Elevate the Spectrum has created Facebook groups to connect people with autism.

“We have a Facebook group right now for adults with autism, and it’s a private group. While they can’t meet face to face, they can at least provide support to each other,” she said.

To get involved with Elevate the Spectrum, visit elevatethespectrum.org or the Facebook page, @elevatethespectrum.

Assistant Editor at Rio Rancho Observer