Where can parents of children with Autism go for help? Doctors and therapists often recommend assistive technology, weighted blankets, or even dogs for service and emotional support. But, where to begin? And how do parents afford the laundry list of suggested supports for their children?
Helen Crunick loves when she sees a baby when she is out and about in Washington County. The former Chartiers Houston School District teacher always stops to ask the parents of the baby if they received a Baby Book Bag from the Literacy Council of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Normally, the answer is always "yes," and that "thrills" Crunick.
Robecca Novotne-Castner, 28, of North Charleroi, brings her son, Carter, to daycare at the Mon Valley YMCA every day. Castner went to the same daycare when she was Carter's age, and now she utilizes the service while she goes to work at the YMCA as their Human Resources director.
For many years, Keith Aylsworth was a self-sufficient Information Technology professional working in both Computer Operations and Helpdesk environments. But after his vision deteriorated and he was left legally blind, he found himself turning to others for support.
Lisa was at a low point in her life. She was in recovery for alcoholism, had lost her job in the food industry and ended up in jail because of a domestic dispute. That's when she saw a flyer for a program that could help her turn her life around. "I learned about the program when I was in jail," remembers Lisa. "I decided I was ready for a change when I got released. I wanted to make a plan for my future."