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Empowering Kids increases programming

Fergus Falls Daily Journal - 9/12/2018

Sept. 12--Empowering Kids Perham has a new after school program this school for kids with autism and social-cognitive challenges.

Empowering Kids has been operating in Perham since 2016, formerly out of the Boys and Girls club. This past November the group became an independent nonprofit.

The new after school program, which is open to anyone in the area, is a separate, quieter space, for those with autism or other social-cognitive challenges such as ADHD to go after school and learn social skills.

"Being with other kids can be overwhelming," general manager at Empowering Kids Perham, Christi Stoll said, "It's a smaller program, less kids, they spend a half hour each day on social skills."

Empowering Kids is also implementing a new special interest program for kids ages fourth grade and up, so students can find skills or special interests that they are talented or drawn to.

"Our founder Kim is very passionate about that," Stoll said. "A lot of kids with autism are very bright, but lack the social skills. We want to explore their special skills."

The group doesn't just do after school programs, but works with kids one on one and supports parents with autistic kids.

"On top of our after-school programs we do parent support, community programs, creating opportunities for people with autism," Stoll said.

Empowering Kids does not just cater to children with autism but to children with social-cognitive challenges. According to Stoll, this can mean children who have no formal diagnosis of autism, have ADHD, or have other behavior issues similar to autism.

"Most of our kids either have autism, or ADHD," Stoll said. "The majority have autism."

For those looking to be a part of Empowering Kids new after school program or any of their other programs, give them a call or check out their website: All kids and parents go through an intake appointment to learn a little bit about the child and what they need.

The group has a few upcoming events, on Monday, Sept. 17 Empowering Kids is presenting on Vitals Aware Services for caregivers. Sensory Friendly Zoo Night is coming up on Sept. 21 at the Trowbridge Zoo for kids with social challenges or autism.


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