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Autism Center Coming to West Kentucky

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Lance Dennee/WKMS
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A new facility specializing in autism treatments is coming to Paducah. Families on the Spectrum President KrissyRamey made the announcement Thursday evening at West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

The non-profit support group is looking to open in the spring of 2015, and will offer a variety of support services to families affected by Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders in the region.

“We’re going to prize ourselves as the one stop Autism shop,” Ramey said.

Services will include speech/physical/occupational therapy, tutoring, and speech-sensory integration.

The WKASC is looking to Murray State University, WKCTC and the University of Louisville to partner with them in providing these services.

Specialized therapy services will be provided by individual providers housed in their facility.  The center will also offer educational training for personnel, including first responders and police officers.

In addition to the announcement of the new Autism Center, a representative from the Kentucky Autism Center was on hand to share information to members regarding what their organization offers to families.

Kim Steele of the Child First Advocacy Group discussed the Individualized Education Plan process. 

What are IEPs?

Students with special needs usually require this plan to be successful in public schools. IEPs are individually crafted per the specific child’s needs then implemented by the school to create a positive learning environment for the student.

They're based on a variety of evaluations including speech, behavior and abilities. The IEP is then drafted and finalized by a committee called an ARC. This process can often be confusing and overwhelming for the parent.

Steele says this is where an advocate can help.

“If you are struggling and you feel like you do not know enough to be that active member on the ARC then it is a good idea to bring an advocate,” she said.

“And bringing an advocate does not mean you're going to be fighting with the district, it just means you need someone sitting on your side of the table.”

Families on the Spectrum is holding a fundraiser for the Autism Center on Saturday at Walden Lodge in Kevil. All the money will go to the development of WKASC.

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