RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (NEWS RELEASE) — “I’ve noticed a difference in his eye contact. His speech is more clear. He’s made great strides over the past year,” Lindsay Riser describes her son, Ricky’s progress. “He’s gone from needing outside stimulation to help him calm down to teaching himself how to cope. His occupational therapist said that she’d never seen that before.”
Ricky has autism. He was diagnosed at Nicklaus Children’s Dan Marino Outpatient Center in Weston, Florida, but when his parents, Lindsay and Tom, returned to West Virginia to be closer to family autism services were not easy to find.
The Risers first took Ricky to Dr. Janet Lintala at Autism Health in 2013.
Through Autism Health and her non-profit, The Un-Prescription, Dr. Lintala has helped hundreds of families, like the Risers, by providing natural approaches to treat underlying medical problems that can cause difficult behaviors and aggression, sleep problems, constipation, delayed language and poor social skills. The center, based in Beckley, currently serves patients from 16 states.
New River Community and Technical College students in the Browning Social Services Club are currently planning Volleyball 4 Autism, a fundraiser for The Un-Prescription. Funds raised during the event will stay in West Virginia.
New River CTC Instructor of Social Services Dr. Kelli White started Volleyball 4 Autism eight years ago to help provide more families with access to diagnostic services through Autism Health. Now, college students run the fundraiser.
“Volleyball 4 Autism is a culmination of what our social services students have learned. They’re able to plan and organize, to write grants and to follow up with donors. With this event, we’re taking the things that they’ve learned and putting them into practice to go beyond what they’ve read in books,” White explained. “It’s a great experience for them. We see former students come back to help and participate.”
The 2017 volleyball tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 starting at 9 a.m. at Memorial Baptist Church, 1405 S. Kanawha St., Beckley. Child care will be provided, and a silent auction and raffle will be held. Memorial Baptist Youth will operate the concession stand with proceeds supporting their mission trip and the Volleyball 4 Autism event.
Those interested in supporting the event, may register teams, sponsor the event or donate items for the raffle and silent auction. Registration for teams of eight is $100 if registered by April 9 or $150 at the door, and the 2017 event will have two divisions, one for those who play regularly and one for those with less experience. T-shirt sponsorships will be available for $100 until April 9.
For additional information on Volleyball 4 Autism, to register a team, donate or sponsor the event email firstname.lastname@example.org.