HHH serves community

Published 4:44 pm Saturday, March 30, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

Tuesday is the sixth annual United Nations World Autism Awareness Day.  This specially designated day was first recognized in April of 2008 to increase the awareness of Autism in the world.

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So what does this mean to the Hormel Historic Home? That is a question I have been asked, and one I have asked of others, often over the past few months.

I have learned the occurrence of Autism, a group of complex disorders of brain development, is 1 in 88 children, although that number is being tested and many feel the actual rate is much greater.

Autism appears 4 to 5 times more often in boys than in girls, and it occurs across all demographics and all races. The cause is somewhat of a mystery but both genetic and environmental factors have been found to contribute to its diagnosis.

These are the basics, and I am grateful to have a team of specially educated professionals working with me who are teaching me more everyday.

Throughout history the HHH has served the community in many ways, as the Hormels wanted when they gifted the home to the YWCA in 1927. The following is a description of a three-part seminar held at the YWCA as reported in the March 14, 1929 paper:

“The interesting subject of ‘Heredity and Environment’ will be the first subject taken up by the child study class which begins Wednesday evening, April 3rd(1929) at the YWCA.  Subjects in addition to the first one are ‘Bases of Action’, or the mechanism which controls human behavior, ‘The Beginnings of Nervousness’ and ‘Fear and Anger’, or how a child’s personality is affected by his emotions.”  The article states the class was open  “to all who are interested in the rights and the welfare of the child, whether he is a precious and sometimes a puzzling member of one’s own family, or one of the many who in the future may have a hand in shaping the affairs of the times of his own day.”

Although the classes described are not specifically talking about Autism, the idea of offering programs to help families and children is not a new one for the HHH.  And the fact that parents often need assistance in knowing how to raise their children is not unique to today.  I am proud that the Home continues to be utilized in a manner that can help people navigate the complexities of parenting.  For more information on the Autism Programming supported by the HHH please visit our website at www.hormelhistorichome.org.

What’s Happening at the HHH

Social Concerns

April 16, 10 a.m.Cost: Free

Don and Louise Barnes will share their passion and talent for gardening with us on the 16th.  Gardening “Mini” Style is the topic and you will learn about getting BIG yield from small spaces with the right type of plants and equipment.  Call the HHH to register.

Stepping Out For Autism Walk

April is Autism Awareness month so mark Saturday, April 20, on your calendars.The 2nd annual fundraising walk will be held at Mill Pond. All donations will help support the Autism Programming sponsored by the HHH. Walk starts at 10 and Hy-Vee will provide lunch at 12.  More information available online or by calling the HHH at 507-433-4243.