New Mexico Autism Society

From The President, Roger Riley

Dear NM Autism Community:

I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and is ready for the New Year. For my family, a new year means starting the process of transi-tioning my son into middle school. This is a move that very much concerns me since he’s been at the same school for the last four years. Although I fully expect a smooth transition we will certainly miss the dedicated staff at his current school. They have done so much to get him ready for the next step. I greatly appreciate all of the hardworking, dedicated professionals that work with our kids on a daily basis, as I’m sure we all do.

I am looking forward to the coming year for the New Mexico Autism Society.

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start thinking about this year’s Board election. We will say goodbye to a couple of long-time Board members and will continue to work on recruiting new direc-tors with a focus on recruit-ment from outside of the Albuquerque metro area. If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the Board please nominate them. We’re excited to continue bringing on new Board members with fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

I also look forward to the continued growth of our very dedicated Executive Director, Sarah Baca. Sarah brings such a passion to her job that is truly inspiring. I don’t think we could have found a better fit for this important position.

We have a very important legislative session beginning this month. Please see the report from the legislative committee in this newsletter and please support any calls to action that go out over the list serve. We have the abil-ity to really make a differ-ence when our entire commu-nity pulls together to support pro-autism legislation!

We also have the 5th annual Ellen Reavis Race for Autism coming up April 6th. This has become such a wonderful event! Not only is it our big-gest fundraiser but it also gives us a great opportunity to support the autism community. In addition to the walk in Albuquerque this year, we’re also planning similar events in Roswell and Gallup. Thanks so much to our Board members in those areas, Christine White and Emilea Palmer, for making that happen!

I want to thank everyone so much for your continued support of our organization. Our best days are yet to come! We will only get stronger as we pull together to “support all affected by autism.”

Roger D. Riley, President
New Mexico Autism Society

Thank you to Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema!

The New Mexico Autism Society Says:


The accommodations they made for over 75 people affected by autism to enjoy a movie were AMAZING!

From the desk of Sarah Baca, Executive Director

Happy New Year NMAS! It is hard to believe it is 2013. I am so excited for what is in store for 2013!

A very important date is approaching for me and my family. On February 16th it will be one year since I be-came Executive Director. Each day I wake up and I love my job, there is no greater feeling! Thank you for your continued support. The support from the community and collaborations we are forming is so exciting. Thank you to the Center For Self Advocacy for opening your doors to the autism community and hosting an event for us. Premiere Cinemas in Rio Rancho made so many families’ dreams a reality. I talked to families who attended our Sensory Friendly movie who may have never had the opportunity had it not been for this event. For the first time in NMAS’ and Albuquerque’s history there was a movie families affected by autism could enjoy without feeling like they needed to keep seated, quiet, and careful not to cause disruptions for others.

I encourage you to attend our events in January and February. I am often asked, how were you able to “go on” once you received your sons diagnosis? My response is simple, “I became involved.” I encourage you to do the same. Whether you have been on this “road” for awhile or you are brand new, become involved and reach out for support—we are here for you!

When I was hired I was tasked with looking outside our current funding sources for other means of income. I am pleased to say we applied for an Issue Area Grant through United Way of Central New Mexico. We are crossing our fingers we will be awarded the grant. We have great plans for our program which the grant will be fund.

I look forward to continuing to serve you in 2013. As always I am a phone call or email away.