West Kentucky Autism Center Seeks Building, Support
Families on the Spectrum president KrissyRamey visits Sounds Good to tell us about the development of the Western Kentucky Autism Spectrum Center for which fundraising is underway. Ramey says the goal is to be a one-stop autism shop for the region, where a child or adult with autism or family member can come for support and community.
"This project is much bigger than just a handful of parents. This project is much bigger than one person's ideas. So we're really counting on the community to get behind us. To see the need that we as parents are having and just kind of make everybody aware because there's a lot of people who have no clue that when you get that autism diagnosis... you come home to nothing."
The Center is currently seeking a building and also financial support. Ramey also hopes to educate the general public about autism spectrum, that 35,000 children every year are diagnosed with a form of autism and hopes to be the go-to resource for families seeking information and assistance.
One Diagnosis Changed Everything
In our conversation with Krissy Ramey, she details the story of how she found out her son Derek has autism. After going to the hospital to treat an ear infection and a sudden rash, he came home a different child: no longer talking, walking or playing in the typical manner. One day at church, Derek had a meltdown and the Sunday School teacher (who later became his pre-school teacher) said, "I didn't know your son had autism." Krissy said she didn't know either and began researching the symptoms and sought a proper diagnosis.
"I just remember crying the whole way home because all of these thoughts start running through your head: 'What am I going to do? How can I fix this?' That's your first thought as a parent... Part of the emotional healing process for me was realizing that I didn't have to fix my son, I had to love him through it. And we had to walk this journey side by side and do what was best for Derek and not what was going to "fix" him."
She credits her love and commitment to his needs to his success today, making good grades in school and playing with peers.
Families on the Spectrum: Our Autism Families