• Empowering Kids Perham

    Empowering Kids Perham, a nonprofit organization located in Perham, MN, was created to provide services for children with autism and other special needs. We provide exceptional, compassionate care for children and families so that every child with autism or other special needs will reach his or her full potential.

    Kim & Kenny Nelson, our founders, have personal life experience with autism in their own family and there were others within the community that share similar experiences.  They had a dream to build an organization that provides services to children and their families locally.  

    Bright Futures: Empowering Kids was originally started as a program of the Boys and Girls Club - Perham Area in August of 2016.  In July 2017, it was determined that to serve the needs that were identified and all age groups, the organization needed to apply for its own non-profit status.  In October 2017, non-profit status was granted with a new name, Empowering Kids Perham.    Amy Zamzo, Executive Director and Director of Programming, along with Heidi Solberg, Program Specialist, bring their unique skills and backgrounds together to create an organization that provides services to meet the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.  

    Empowering Kids Perham provide the following services:
    Early Intervention Services  
    Empowering Kids Perham is excited to offer additional supports for families of children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs requiring behavioral support in the area of play, social-communication, and behavioral regulation. Early Intervention services and supports are critical in the future outcomes for children. This early help for families is important because it is a time when the brain is flexible for shaping and guiding development of skills and overall behavior.

    Social Skills Services
    Our social skills services are led by experts in the field of Autism, who understand what it takes to teach specific skills needed to help children and young adults have the confidence to interact socially with others; a life skill that is necessary to be successfully employed, live independently, and live a life of happiness and purpose.  

    Therapeutic Recreation Services
    Empowering Kids Perham believes that all children should have a sense of belonging and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. We will utilize recreation, special activities, special interests, and events to foster the physical, social, and emotional well-being of the children and families we serve.

    Our Out-n-About program will help participants explore Perham and the surrounding communities by participating in a variety of activities and events. Participants will learn and practice the skills necessary to feel comfortable when out-n-about doing community activities or social events. For many people with autism and other related special needs, social events are not as enjoyable, as they are for most, because that is part of their disability; a learning disability in being “social”. For many of us, being social is natural and easy, but for people with autism or people with social communication disabilities, it is not natural and is not easy. It takes a lot of practice and guidance.  

    Parent Support
    Empowering Kids Perham is excited to offer additional supports for families of children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs related to specific needs in the home and supporting your child(ren) out in the community.  We offer in-home supports, home visits, and parent education and training.

    Education and Training
    Empowering Kids Perham believes in celebrating a culture of acceptance; translating disability into ability. In order to do this, children, families, and community members and organizations need to better understand the learning difficulties that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs have and what supports they need to be successful in our community and ultimately in life. We are excited to offer many opportunities for families and all individuals within the community to come together and learn more about what they can do to help all individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs.  

    For more information on Empowering Kids Perham go to the website at www.empoweringkidsperham.org.

    Empowering Kids Perham to BRIGHT FUTURES - We believe that every child with Autism or other special needs deserves to: Belong, be Resilient, be Independent, have a Good life, be Happy, be Triumphant, have Friends, Understand his/her learning differences, use his/her Talents, be Unique, engage in Recreation, be Employed, and be a Self-advocate.

    Kim Nelson, founder, with her grandson, Levi

    Amy Zamzo, Director, providing early intervention services