Riverview resident Tanya Hines is the founder and executive director of Experienced Autism Alliance.
“I’m a native Floridian, military wife and mother to three sons, ages 20, 18 and 16,” Hines said. “My youngest son, Avery, is nonverbal and has severe autism. After years of helping other families with kids on the spectrum navigate through insurance, therapy and doctors, I decided to create a nonprofit organization along with my husband and my son’s former occupational therapist.”
Experienced Autism Alliance’s mission is to link families within the autism community with the resources they need to enrich their lives.
“We offer free workshops to parents and caregivers,” Hines said. “Each month is a different topic with a guest speaker from one of the many wonderful therapy companies in Hillsborough County. Lastly, we have a grant program. Once a year, we give a family a grant up to $1,500 towards safety equipment not covered by insurance.”
Experienced Autism Alliance recently partnered with Scent Evidence K9, which is a company that has created the first scientifically tested and proven Scent Preservation Kit and ‘The SEKR’ Scent Evidence Collection Vacuum to provide canine trailing responders with uncontaminated scent articles and on-scene scent collection methods that increase location success while reducing the time it takes to find a target.
“I kind of stumbled across Scent Evidence K9,” Hines said. “I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a story about a missing child with autism being found with a scent kit. The story naturally caught my attention. I started doing some research on the company and found out they have a community partnership. I immediately knew I had to connect with them.”
Hines feels this partnership will help many families in our community.
She hopes this partnership will make a huge impact not only in our community but throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
“My hopes for the partnership with Scent Evidence K9 is that we can continue working together and eventually getting a bill pass to get all children and adults with autism in Hillsborough and all of Florida a Scent Kit for free through the state,” Hines said. “Until then, Experienced Autism Alliance hopes to make our Autism Home Again Drive an annual event giving free Scent Kits to families with children and adults with autism in Hillsborough County.”
To learn more about Experienced Autism Alliance, visit www.ea-all.org. To learn more about Scent Evidence K9, visit www.scentevidencek9.com.