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National Autism Association's Family First Program Now Providing Free Tools to Help Combat Autism Divorce Rates
Date:6/16/2009

NIXA, Mo., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Autism Association (NAA) announced today it will provide relationship-coaching tools at no charge to qualifying couples who have a child with autism.

In response to the rise in divorce within the autism community, the NAA's Family First Program was developed in 2007 to provide funds to couples in need of marriage counseling. Now the organization is providing tools to anyone in need of relationship help. "Couples in need will receive a book and DVD presentation at no charge," says NAA Executive Director Rita Shreffler. "These tools are filled with unique marital tips and relatable stories for couples that have a child with autism."

Both the book, "Married with Special Needs Children" and DVD presentation come from Dr. Laura Marshak, a leading authority on marital therapy within the special needs community. "The goal is to provide that little extra help to couples who feel alone in their unique challenges," says NAA President Wendy Fournier. "We hope that providing resources and tools for a healthier marriage will build a firmer foundation for children with autism to progress."

The organization notes that these tools are not intended for everyone. "Obviously, if you are in an abusive relationship, separation is imperative," says Fournier. "But for those seeking a little bit of help, but are hurting financially, we're happy to offer these tools at no charge."

Couples can receive the two items by mail while supplies last. To qualify, couples that have a child with autism should write to lori@nationalautism.org outlining their special circumstance. Qualifying couples will then receive both the book and DVD in the mail. Lifetime partners that have a child with autism also qualify.

Counseling funds are also available through Family First. To apply for a $500 grant towards marriage counseling, couples can visit http://nationalautismassociation.org/familyfirst.php.

NAA's Family First Program relies heavily on donations. To support the program, please visit www.nationalautism.org.

    Contacts:
    Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-835-5828
    Lori McIlwain (Cary, NC) 919-741-1646


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SOURCE National Autism Association
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