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Local News

January 3, 2014

Delhi woman starts project to assist autism families

Local children, families and therapists affected by autism can benefit from what’s in a Delhi woman’s “closet.”

Patti Kruppo is a mom on a mission: to spread awareness of autism spectrum disorders and provide support and resources to all children with disabilities through her nonprofit organization, EVAN and the EVAN lending closet.

Kruppo and her husband, Scott, founded Enlightening Views of Autism Now in 2012. Named after their son, Evan, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old, the organization seeks to provide parental support, information on borrowing therapeutic equipment, resources and more to the community.

Last spring, Kruppo started the EVAN lending closet, which has more than 45 pieces of therapeutic equipment that children with disabilities, including autism, can borrow. Kruppo said this allows therapists or families to try out pieces of equipment and determine whether the child can benefit from them.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify one in 88 American children as being on the autism spectrum.

After learning about different therapeutic equipment that could be helpful for autistic children, Kruppo said, the family had a difficult time actually getting the equipment for Evan to try. Because every case of autism is different and each child learns differently, Kruppo said, equipment didn’t always work for Evan. For instance, Kruppo said weighted vests, which help some autistic children relax and feel calm, do not work for her son.

“We would continually spend money on sensory integration equipment that would not work but we had no place to borrow it from to try it out,” Kruppo said. “We also would have to wait for months to get coverage by insurance for equipment that we felt Evan could use right away. We want to help other families, so they don’t have to go through what we did.”

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