Turning disabilities into possibilities: that’s the goal for the Center for Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities.
Meet nine-year-old Valor Carrigee. At two, he was diagnosed with autism. Valor is considered a level two which means he can speak, but still struggles with communication skills. Valor’s mother, Lyndsay Carrigee, said, “It was quite the shock. We’d never had, neither my husband nor I had had anything like this in our family before. In the beginning it was very difficult.”
Luckily, Lyndsay found the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities three years ago and has been coming ever since. “The center has been tremendously, amazingly helpful for our family and for Valor. He just absolutely loves it here.”
Each child who comes to the center gets a one on one session with a registered behavior technician. Kristen Webb has been Valor’s RBT through his whole journey. “He’s so sweet. Very head strong, which works out, but he’s so sweet and always loving even when he’s mad at me that I am pushing him way further than he wants to go.”
Webb has seen Valor grow through every session. “Every little triumph helps the bigger goal because that’s one step closer to expressing himself and being independent in the world.”
For Webb, Valor, and his mom, World Autism Awareness Day is so important. “World Autism Awareness Day is really about pushing the advocacy for these children. So, really making sure that they have these opportunities to get these therapies and that they have the opportunities to build these communities and these friendships.”