Parents with children at the Anderson Center for Autism residential learning center shared their stories with Spectrum News ahead of Autism Awareness Month. They say that the opportunities at the center gave their children a better quality of life.
One in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control. More than 100 youths are living at the center in Dutchess County.
“You have a child that you love and and can’t live with you because of a disability, and you have to hand them over to strangers. It’s heartbreaking,” said Ed Hussey, whose son Joseph has been at the Anderson Center for 11 years. “But you know at Anderson, an amazing thing has happened. The strangers are not strangers. They become our family.”
The Anderson Center also has an international fellowship program to help international caregivers learn best practices in working with people with autism, and they work with community organizations and businesses to help them become more autism-friendly.