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Kelly Autism Program anniversary

WKU celebrated the anniversary of the Kelly Autism Program on Sept. 4. The program, made possible through gifts and ongoing support from John and Linda Kelly of Bowling Green, has grown from eight participants in 2003 to 95 today, including more than 20 in the Circle of Support as students at WKU. KAP director Marty Boman said the program is serving students from age 7 through adult and is providing training for WKU students as well as teachers. As part of the celebration at the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, the Kellys were presented with a quilt created by KAP participants. Students Madeline Sutphen and Nathan Baker (above left) unveiled the quilt as the Kellys and WKU President Gary Ransdell (above right) looked on. “That’s beautiful,” John Kelly said. The KAP celebration also includes a visit from Dr. Temple Grandin, a noted author and speaker on autism. Dr. Grandin (right) spoke at the morning ceremony and presented lectures at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium. Dr. Grandin, an associate professor at Colorado State University, is often called the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world and is known worldwide for her work on the design of livestock handling facilities. She is the author of “Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism,” “Emergence: Labeled Autistic,” “Animals in Translation” and “Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life With Autism.” Her presentations were sponsored by Rivendell Behavioral Health Services. The Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at Western Kentucky University is an interdisciplinary, integrated clinical program that provides a continuum of services to families and individuals with disabilities. This model also provides a comprehensive setting for education and health and human services professionals while housing six programs: Acquired Brain Injury Resource Program, Communication Disorders Clinic, the Early Childhood Center, the Family Counseling Clinic, The Family Resource Program and the Kelly Autism Program.

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