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Autism event highlights services for health care

BY DANIEL PAXTON dpaxton@paducahsun.com

Families on the Spectrum, a local non-profit group that provides both support and fun for autism families in western Kentucky, will host an event that will include presentations by local health care providers who specialize in care for people with special needs.

The event, which is for adults only, will take place Tuesday from 6-8:30 p.m. at Lourdes hospital in the Garden Room.

The event "Special Needs, Special Providers" is intended to bring together adults with family members who have special needs and a range of health care providers who can provide much needed support and services.

In addition to local health care providers such as pediatricians and behavioral health specialists, Dr. Gregory Barnes, director of the University of Louisville Autism Training Center, is scheduled to be the headline speaker.

Barnes is interested in bringing expanded autism care options to the Paducah area.

"As the ULAC director, I am highly interested in establishing an autism spectrum disorder clinic in Paducah. We are currently studying possible ways to do that," said Barnes.

Krissy Ramey, founder and director of Families on the Spectrum, thinks organized events like these help provide families with greater access to the services and care they need.

Ramey says health care specifically geared toward children and adults with autism and special needs is relatively new to the Paducah area, and not nearly as comprehensive it should be.

"The need in this particular community is huge," said Ramey.

Contact Daniel Paxton, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8667.

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