Moms take family approach to autism support

For the first two years of his life, Isaac Dority wouldn’t look people in the eye. Rebecca Dority, Isaac’s mother, said his speech was minimal, too. Isaac would only repeat the last thing he heard.

She and her husband, Patrick Dority, just thought he was a quiet child, but after a friend from their preschool told them Isaac wasn’t acting like the rest of the kids and wasn’t playing with toys like the other kids, the two parents went to the Kansas University Medical Center to find out what could be wrong.

“I kind of thought it could be autism, but I didn’t know how bad it was,” Rebecca said. “After a half a day of being observed, the doctors pulled us into a room and handed us a box of Kleenex and told us, ‘Your son has autism.’

“I can’t describe when you are given that diagnoses and how that affects your whole world,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every 110 has an autism-spectrum disorder. And behind most of those children is a family that will have to learn how to live with this disorder in the family. That’s where the Eudora Autism Community Education and Support Society comes in.

Earlier this year, a group of mothers with autistic children, including Dority, gathered together at the Pyramid Place Early Education Center in Eudora, 1904 Elm St., to form a family support group for children with autism.

“Our goal really is to educate parents and give them tools so they can help their children,” Dority said. “We want them to learn about early intervention and to find the best therapy that will work for their child.”

Dority said this group is different from other autism support meetings where a lot of information is given to parents, but there is nobody there to help them make sense of it all.

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