Tobi Burch Rates Interview: Autism Society Oregon Exec Dir.


Manage episode 63896686 series 38253
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Today's special guest at Autism Empowerment Radio is an incredible woman, Tobi Burch Rates, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Oregon. We are excited to talk with Tobi about her role with the Autism Society and to hear about their organization's programs and upcoming events. The Autism Society of Oregon is a very active chapter. Their mission is to empower individuals with Autism, their families and their service providers to improve the quality of their lives through support and information. Tobi is the mother of two children, both of whom are autistic. Her older son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, while her younger son is more severely affected by autism. She understands that autism is a spectrum disorder, observing how her own children have bery different support needs and have responded differently to different types of therapy and treatments. Having moved to Oregon three years ago, she has had to learn how to navigate the educational, medical, governmental and community support systems available. Mentoring parents new to the autism diagnosis and/or new to Oregon, and instilling the ability to self-advocate in her own children, as well as supporting self-advocacy for everyone on the autism spectrum, are areas of particular interest. Before becoming Executive Director of the ASO, Tobi was a volunteer Board Member for two years, and most recently Vice-President of the Board of Directors. She previously practiced law in the Washington, DC metro area and in Boulder, Colorado. She currently volunteers with the Portland Asperger's Network, and is a IEP Parent-Partner volunteer through the the OrPTI program of the r.i.s.e. Center.

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