Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Autism is a growing epidemic in our country, but fortunately a local center is here to help.
"It's been life changing because we were in a really dark place," said Shawna Blair, a parent and stylist at Blades Salon and Spa.
One in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism, a developmental disorder affecting a person's social and communication skills.
"A lot of parents are lost and they don't know where to start for help they don't know where to go we don't even know sometimes what therapies are going to be best for our children," Blair said.
Janelle Hammock knows the feeling all too well. She moved 800 miles to send her son to the Bluegrass Center for Autism.
"I looked at four different centers at four different states all across the southern U.S. and I fell in love with the Bluegrass Center for Autism and the people who make this place what it is," Hammock said.
The teachers individualize the child's education plan and recognize they have all the potential in the world.
"There's a little bit of magic in what they do here, they're able to look at your child that other people don't see as having potential to succeed in many different areas and they develop a plan with you to make sure they have that success," Hammock said.
Bluegrass Center for Autism has grown every year since it started in 2009.
"We started because there was a need in Louisville," executive director Susan Fowler said. "We are the only center for children with autism in the metro area."
The non-profit is fundraising to keep tuition affordable for these families. Louisville salons are coming together to battle it out for a good cause.
"I think it's wonderful we have a huge platform as stylists where we can talk and interact with everybody and constantly spread the word," Blair said.
The money raised at participating salons will help fund the kids education, bringing parents peace of mind.
"Just not knowing where to go or how to help him - this place has answered all of those questions," Blair said.
"This is the only place I've ever been able to leave him that I know he's going to be OK," Hammock said.
From July 13-20, participating salons will host cut-a-thons, raffles for salon services and other activities to raise money for Bluegrass Center for Autism. The salons include Blades Salon & Spa, Joseph's,Wild Strawberry and Schaeffer Studio.