WYOMING, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Bringing the community together through education, positivity, and inclusion. That’s the mission of a Luzerne County-based nonprofit tailored to helping individuals and families living with autism.

‘Parenting Autism United’ was founded during the pandemic to support local families and help their children live an integrated lifestyle. Thursday, both kids and their parents had some fun at one of the organization’s readings and art programming events.

Young, 8-year-old Jackson dragon loves being in front of the camera. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 22 months, and it’s what prompted his mom to create Parenting Autism United’s ‘Dragon Tales’ reading and art program.

“It was birthed from me being asked to not come back to a local reading program when Jackson was three. So at that point, I decided to make my program and it was going to be everything that I ever needed,” said Lindsay Dragon, Executive Director, Parenting Autism United

The non-profit in Wyoming opens its doors to all members of the community, including individuals with autism and their family members. Dragon says inclusivity is the foundation of the organization that works to address community needs and provide support.

“Autism is very isolating for the family as a whole, for the siblings who have to go to all the therapies as well and sit in the waiting rooms so inclusivity is so important and still our biggest obstacle,” said Dragon.

Courtney Hagy has two children. She loves being part of the organization because it’s a place where they can be themselves and have fun with other kids.

“It’s just really nice to have a place where you’re not just not judged, and you can just come and your kid might be screaming and might have a meltdown, or it might be fine and no one makes a big deal about it. It’s really a great thing as a parent to not have to worry about that,” said Courtney Hagy, parent.

Dragon’s ultimate goal is to create positive, effective, and long-lasting change. She’s thankful to make a difference in the lives of local families every day.

“It’s everything we ever hoped it would be and more,” Dragon said.

‘Parenting Autism United’ offers a number of different services to the community, including support group meetings, volunteer training, programming, and more.

To learn more about the nonprofit, head to our the Parenting Autism United Website.