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There are some really amazing holiday lights in neighborhoods throughout the area.
But there’s one in Cranberry Township, Butler County, which is pretty impressive, and it raises money for an important cause.
For families of people with autism it is not always easy to find a place where they can have fun in a stress-free environment.
That is why the free Parents in Toto Autism Resource Center in Zelienople was started to serve hundreds of families from throughout the region.
Heather Frech of North Sewickley Township knows about autism. It is a part of her family’s daily life. Her son Joey, 9, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome about four years ago, after what Frech describes as a long journey.
Asperger’s is an autism spectrum disorder, one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties and restrictive, repetitive, patterns of behavior.
Mary Limbacher couldn’t help but feel frustrated during the years before her son Andy was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, seven years ago. Limbacher, of Cranberry Township, was equally frustrated in the three years that followed as she fought to learn more about autism spectrum disorders.
Quality of life is increased when we have a sense of community around us and understanding from our loved ones. A good life at home can bring many positive outcomes for people afflicted with disorders.
Mary Limbacher knows how difficult it can be when a parent hears the word “autism” in relation to her own child. When she and her husband first heard that word to describe the behavior of their son, Andy, she was stunned.
“The first time I heard the word 14 years ago, I didn’t even know what it really was,” she said.
When Mary Limbacher’s son was found to have Asperger’s syndrome when he was in the fifth grade, the confirmation came after three years of misdiagnosises, rounds to different specialists and endless questions without answers.
When Mary Limbacher’s son was diagnosed in fifth grade with Asperger’s syndrome, a particular form of autism, she realized how important a support base would be in raising her child.
Many parents, who struggle to find out what is wrong with their child, are relieved to receive a definitive diagnosis. This gives the family and service providers a place to start in helping the child mature and develop into a contributing member of society.
Mary Wildman’s life changed forever just a few days after her son’s first birthday.
She took her son to the pediatrician for an ear infection, but during the appointment she was told her son was also due for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.