Friday, March 30, 2012

Jane Salzano

Autism Light #176 is Jane Salzano.

Jane Salzano is a mother and also a grandmother of individuals with autism. She is also a pioneer in autism services. In 1979 she founded CSAAC (Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children) in Montgomery County, Maryland in order to meet unmet needs for services for those with autism, which she experienced first hand as a mother of a child with autism. Jane Salzano is an Autism Light for her dedicated efforts to build CSAAC into an organization that has helped hundreds of families with autism over the years. 

Jane Salzano's adult son Brian who has autism is now in his 50's. One of Jane's grandsons named Nicholas has autism as well. The following video is Jane Salzano discussing her family and her work at CSAAC.

Life-Time Achivement Award: Jane Salzano received the "Life Time Achievement Award" from the Lido Civic Club of Washington DC in January, 2011. Greetings for the award were sent on behalf of U.S. President Barack Obama, who hailed Jane Salzano for her pioneering work for autism and on behalf of the Italian Ambassador, Giulio Terzi (Source). 

CSAAC: Jane Salzano founded CSAAC in 1979 with a determination that could not be shaken.  To this day CSAAC continues to lay on the foundation set by Jane Salzano.  It has grown to be the largest provider in the United States to exclusively help adults and children with autism across their life span (Source). According to their website, CSAAC's mission is "To enable individuals with autism to achieve their highest potential and contribute as confident individuals to their community." Jane Salzano is recognized nationally as a leader in the autism services that CSAAC provides like early intervention, educational services, family support services, residential supports, and vocational supports. CSAAC's important place as a pioneer autism organization is reflected in the fact that they created the first supported employment services program of its kind in not only Maryland but also the United States (and world). For more information on the ongoing work of CSAAC visit their website at

Jane Salzano said, "I believe that every individual has a right to live in their community (see video above)." The autism world is grateful that Jane was determined to act on that belief back in 1979. Special thanks to Jane Salzano for her dedicated work on behalf of autism. Her work has provided the opportunity for hundreds of people with autism to experience independent living and joys of life that might have alluded them otherwise. Jane Salzano is an inspiration to other parents who want to make a difference and a help to parents in Montgomery County, Maryland who want to help their children with autism become independent.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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