Patrick is now in his third year at Including Kids and continues to grow and learn thanks to the dedicated staff who never give up on him. He is learning skills that will ensure a successful future for him, in both self-care, employment and leisure. Even at 17 years of age, they prove time and time again that it is never too late for a child with autism.
It would be impossible to give you a line item list of all the things Patrick is now doing. Some of his biggest areas of growth have been in independent work in already mastered skills. He is increasing his number of items and length of time that he can do work centers. Two "firsts" in Patrick's life in 2012 were horseback riding, thanks to a generous donor, and a fireworks display after a baseball game, something we never attempted to even try before.
Including Kids is celebrating its 10th year of serving the needs of the community. Some facts from a recent newsletter: They have helped 438 families including 80 full-time participants; 79 after-school participants, and 279 families through community outreach (which is also funded by donors like you), to reach 12 different counties in our area. Sixty-two percent of the children and young adults in full-time therapy have graduated or moved into a mainstream setting. This year there are 41 full-time participants, 24 after-school participants and community outreach services are growing. Eighty-two cents of every dollar you donate goes directly to clinical programming for the children. In 10 years, they have received over $2.5 million from donations, grants and fundraising including $445,000 last year.
Jennifer Dantzler, executive-director-extraordinare, never settles. She wants to continue making the experience for the children and families already involved more meaningful (for example, adding in-home training for the family), to reach more children and families in the communities by expanding community outreach. They need a new van.
If you have been inspired by Patrick, by the work his school has done for not only him but for so many others, they could use your help to continue.