SALLISAW–The Cherokee Nation recently donated $1,500 to the non-profit organization Pervasive Parenting Center to help purchase materials needed to provide autism screenings to families in eastern Oklahoma.
The organization, based in Poteau provides assistance to families in eastern Oklahoma affected by autism and other disabilities.
Pervasive Parenting Center Director Kodey Toney and his wife Jennifer founded the organization in 2014, and as a father of a child with autism wanted to create a network of support for other families facing similar challenges.
Kodey Toney said, “We are thankful for the Cherokee Nation to assist us in helping the families in this area of the state. We know that the resources here are limited and what is available most people don’t know about, so we are working with great organizations like the Nation to help bring trainings and resources into the area. The funding will go a long way in our efforts to help with screenings for area children.”
“The impact made by Kodey and the Pervasive Parenting Center in the surrounding communities is truly remarkable,” said Tribal Councilor Bryan Warner. “The Cherokee Nation has a long history of partnering with non-profit organizations that are making our communities stronger and more cohesive, which makes giving the Pervasive Parenting Center financial support a no brainer.”
Early intervention of autism is key to success in a child’s life. The screening will not include a diagnosis, but could help determine if the child is at “high risk” for autism.
Once this is determined the families will be referred to a specialist for further diagnosis, or will be assisted in the next step of development.
“If we can detect the signs of autism early and help get a diagnosis then we are well on our way to helping the child and family receive the services they need to provide a better life,” said Toney.
Screenings will be available beginning June 1, by appointment. Families can call (918) 647-1255 to set up an appointment at the Pervasive Parenting office, or at a location close to them.
“We are proud to support and partner with the Pervasive Parenting Center because its mission is to help area families who live day in and day out with children who struggle with autism and other developmental disabilities,” said Warner. “Sadly, national research shows that one in every 68 children will be diagnosed with some form of autism.
“This organization was created to raise awareness of this growing issue and provide parents in northeast Oklahoma the tools and the support network they need to help their children.”
For more information on the Pervasive Parenting Center, visit www.pervasiveparentingcenter.org.
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