Toccoa Coffee and our connection with Autism
Our close friends know the story about our son Kyle and his battle with autism, but we have kept most information private over the years while Kim and I have simply put our heads down and worked to move forward, one step at a time. Through the month of April, 2014, I want to share Kyle's story and introduce you to a very loving, hard-working, beautiful boy who has autism.
Kyle is 16 years old and he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. Ever since his diagnosis, we have been on a mission to help our son to be able to live up to his potential, no matter what that may be. We've had highs and lows over the past 13 years. We have learned to celebrate the highs because the lows will bring tears to your eyes.
I want to take you on our journey from diagnosis, through the different therapies, and introduce you to the many people who helped Kyle along the way. We are so thankful for the help we received, and for the people who live in our community who work with children and parents who are just beginning the journey of dealing with autism. Just so you know, I'm not a film maker, nor an author, so keep in mind that I plan to do my very best to communicate this story in a way you can become familiar with our story in a hope that you too can get behind the only possible help that exists today - early childhood intervention.
For those who don't know about Autism, there is no known cause or a cure. Until there is a cure, parents look for support from within their community and participate in an early childhood intervention programs, where they receive the support of therapists working directly with their child and education on how to work with their child. Some communities simply don’t have these resources. We were fortunate to live in a community that has a major university (The University of Notre Dame), and through their psychology department we received a tremendous amount of help. Today, the Logan Center in South Bend and their Ansari Center for Autism provide support to individuals and families that include:
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Behavior Consultation
- Recreation Services
- Social Skills Classes
- Teen Groups
For the month of April, your love for coffee can support the efforts of early childhood intervention for children who have been diagnosed with autism. Toccoa coffee will contribute $1.50 for each pound of coffee that is purchased through our website, by telephone, or at one of our partner retail locations, to the Ansari Center for Autism in Granger, Indiana and St. Joseph, Michigan. Please join us in our effort to bring attention to the problem of autism and to help families in our community.
Jeff & Kim Whitlow
Owners of Toccoa Coffee Roasters