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The food distribution program

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Autism Ally Group

Improving lives by providing support to individuals, family members and caregivers in the neuro-divergent community.

Article by Marie Robey Wood

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

Autism Ally Group (AAG) is a local, nonprofit organization that helps families and individuals affected by autism and other intellectual developmental disabilities. In the words of CEO Ike Ogbuebile: “Our focus is to provide resources and support in any way we can to help them attain independence in the community.”  

It started when Elizabeth Ucheya, the founder and CEO of Renoxx Caregivers, a for-profit licensed home and community-based provider caring for children and adults, heard stories from families and caregivers of the challenges they faced when children had graduated from the school system and had to return tablets and other tools that helped them navigate their environment. With this background and her experience as a consultant, she decided the best way to fill that gap was to form a nonprofit. Two years ago she reached out to Ike Ogbuebile (AAG’s first CEO) for help based on his years of experience in repositioning Organizations. 

Today AAG helps over 100 families every month through its various programs. 80% percent of the money donated goes directly to these programs. They are:

The Food Distribution Program is designed to address special dietary needs of the neurodivergent communities and educate their families about healthier food choices. AAG partners with One Acre Farm and KITE Realty to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to those facing food insecurity.   

The Respite Funding Program enlists licensed agencies to take over a caregiver’s duties for a few days, providing them with a rest period. (Eligible to those not receiving Medicare or Medicaid).

Ome-Nma (Make Me Feel Good) is a self-esteem-building program, that partners with occupational therapists who help individuals prepare for sensory-related services and identify companies specializing in adaptive clothing and footwear.

Employment Readiness Services is a cornerstone of all AAG’s programs. In addition to helping place individuals in job positions, the team works with Rehabilitation Services and a network of community businesses to create a good fit for their population. Their assistance continues with on-the-job support for both the employer and employee.

Caregiver and Family Empowerment supports caregivers and families of neurodivergent individuals. Services include monthly peer-to-peer mentoring support. According to Ike, “This support system helps reassure parents that they are not alone on this journey.” Conversations might be as simple as suggestions from barbers and dentists.

Assistive Technology – Disabilities take many forms: from impaired mobility, vision, and hearing to verbal communication restrictions. This program helps individuals achieve daily tasks with adaptive equipment or assistive technology. 

Dreams Come True Program – Whether supporting a young Autistic man like Mobi to achieve his goal of becoming a professional DJ by sponsoring lessons or arranging concert tickets for parents, AAG helps its community realize their dreams. 

The board and staff at Autism Ally speak to schools and police departments to help them understand how to best assist persons with disabilities. Their fundraisers are driven by a raise more to reach more mindset.

Donate and learn more at autismallygroup.org; info@autismallygroup.org.

  • The dreams come true program.
  • The food distribution program
  • Elizabeth Ucheya, CEO Renoxx Caregivers, receives an award from AAG Board members, Alicia Bousman and Partap Verma.
  • Autism Ally Group speak to schools and police departments to help them understand how to best assist persons with disabilities
  • AAG CEO Ike Ogbuebile
  • Autism Ally Group speak to schools and police departments to help them understand how to best assist persons with disabilities
  • Ike Ogbuebile presenting an Adaptive Tablet to a family at Cedar Lane School, Fulton MD as part of AAG’s Adaptive Technology program
  • The food distribution program
  • The dreams come true program.
  • The food distribution program