OREM, Utah - Kids on the Move is celebrating ten years of providing services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The program has been around for thirty years helping children with disabilities. Current CEO Scott Bean first walked into the center twenty years ago, where they learned their 3-year-old daughter had autism.
"To us at the time it was, autism was a very scary thing, much like a death sentence, you don't know what to expect when you hear that word about your child. It's much different today," Bean said. "That 3 year old who we brought in 20 years ago is now 23 years old, attending college on a musical scholarship. She plays the cello beautifully and she's married and living independently and you would never really know that she has autism."
Pediatricians sometimes see early warning signs of autistic tendencies, but sometimes parents are able to discover symptoms on their own. Laura Cook, who now serves as the autism program director at Kids on the Move, researched her son's symptoms on the Internet and thought he had autism. A neurologists confirmed that diagnosis. Her son is now twenty years old.
"In fact my son is getting prepared to go on a church mission for two years and so it's very exciting for us," Cook said.
Cook stresses the importance of early intervention to determine if a child has autism and to start out early working to make their lives as good as they can be.
"Every child's going to reach a different level but every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential," Cook said.
Kids on the Move offers early intervention to help children with any disability from the time they're born until they turn three. It also has an early HeadStart program for kids three and under in low-income and poverty situations.
For more, visit kotm.org.