My son was diagnosed with having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, PDD-NOS, a few weeks before his third birthday. This life-changing news left us scared, overwhelmed and unsure about what the next steps would be in figuring how to get him the services he might need. Living on the Eastern Shore, we also felt extremely isolated and far removed from any of the areas that did offer resources for families like us.
A few months later, we met Christy Russell who was starting up the Kinera Foundation on Kent Island. I honestly don’t know where we would be today had it not been for the resources Kinera has provided for my family. The Foundation has been invaluable in helping us get access to so many benefits that we never even know existed.
Thanks to Kinera, we were able to apply for grants that helped cover a years worth of therapy costs. We were also connected with an amazing parent advocate, who held our hand through the daunting, months-long IEP process. We’ve also been connected with other families who are going through the exact same hardships we were facing, and we’ve been able to learn and grow with each other.
Two years after his diagnosis, my son is currently thriving in his current school and home environments. And we owe so much of his success to the resources we’ve been put in contact with through Kinera.
When I met Christy, President of Kinera, my twin girls were 3 years old and non verbal. There were other developmental delays going on as well. Christy took time to come to my house on several occasions and talk to me about her experiences with her son.
In February 2014 we got the diagnosis that our girls are severely autistic and our life changes forever.
I then started to attend Kinera monthly support groups. There I met fellow moms who have supported me and guided me through many obstacles with my girls. To say this group has helped me would be an understatement. They have guided me through the IEP process, therapy options and ways to plan for my families future and so much more.
Christy gave my husband and I space right after the diagnosis but always checked in to see how we were doing and of we needed anything. She helped me move forward and get a plan together to help my girls which includes outside speech and occupational therapy weekly along with the public school program.
I don't know where I would be without Christy, other moms I have met through Christy and the Kinera foundations support.
Thank you Kinera for all you do!
Thank you Kinera Foundation!!! This was the first year we were able to enjoy the Earleigh Heights Carnival! The Sensory Friendly Event you sponsored made the whole experience absolutely wonderful. My son, Ryan, has non-verbal autism and loves rides, but often has a hard time with crowds, lines, and noise. The evening was meltdown free, full of fun and smiles for everyone. Thank you for making a difference and helping families like us!
Just wanted you to know how much my family and I enjoyed the stadium tour on Saturday. Thank you for planning this event which we will always remember each time we watch a Raven's game on tv. What an opportunity to see the "behind the scene" part of the stadium. We were very impressed! Our guide was very knowledgeable and just great!
Thank you so much!