September 09: Danville-Boyle County Autism Support Group

Julie Decoteau and Melissa Caudill, co leaders

(left to right) Julie Decoteau and Melissa Caudill, co leaders

5 -10 active members but an email list of 145.

We meet the third Sunday of each month from 3 - 5 with the exception of June, July, and August. Childcare is provided.

We are fortunate to partner with the Danville Learning Disabilities Association in April with their art show "Hands that Touch the Heart". The DLDA uses the month of April to help raise awareness for autism and children from Danville, Boyle County, and several surrounding counties' special education classes have artwork on display and for sale at the Community Arts Center. The DLDA hosts an artists' reception to kick off the wonderful month. Throughout the year we have a variety of speakers.... Debbie Lorence from KATC, Dr. Callie Garrison ~ a local chiropractor with information about autism, Jo Brosius ~owner of PAWS that trains dogs as companions for children with just name a few.

We have a couple of months during the year that our meetings are used to simply share ideas, etc as parents of children with autism.

We host a summer event at KC Gymnastics (free for families) so that children can play and parents can visit.

We have an end of the year picnic each May for the families who are part of the support group.

I think the best success story for the Danville-Boyle County Autism Support Group is that it is STILL active. The group was formed in 1997 by a few parents, teachers, and professionals. We have never charged any members a cent for dues, babysitting fees, picnics, summer fun, etc... We have been able to provide those services through generous donations as well as many memorial contributions to the group when Nancy Caudill, a grandmother of a young man who has autism in Danville died in 2002. We are a small but mighty group and look forward to many more years as an active force supporting families of children with autism who live in our area.