MORGANTOWN W.Va. – April is Autism Awareness Month, and one local center is trying to make more resources for children with autism in West Virginia.
The “Key Leaning Autism Center” in Morgantown was started almost two years ago by three WVU graduates who realized there weren’t many services for children with autism in West Virginia.
The three Board Certified Behavior analysts work with kids with autism ages two to six on daily living skills, verbal behavioral skills, social skills, and pre-academics. They use Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy to reinforce positive behaviors so the kids learn how their behavior affects their environment.
“It takes the principles of behavior and learning and applies them to improve a human life. So for our kids here, we break down skills in a way that is understandable for them and teach them in small steps,” Charlotte Arrington, co-founder of KLAC, said.
The women explained that ABA is the number one treatment for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“ABA is one of those things that when you can’t find it you get really nervous because everyone’s telling you this is what your is needs,” Haley Ramsey, co-founder of KLAC said. “And you can’t find it so once they’re here they’re really grateful.”
KLAC has a six to 12 month waitlist for kids to join their center but wants to expand and advocate for more awareness.
“We are in the process of trying to start a nonprofit so that we can help continue services and support everyone in the area that needs it,” Devin Parsons, co-founder of KLAC said.