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.
Both teens and their parents had some fun during one of the organization’s programming events.
Monday night was the first game night at Parenting Autism United in Wyoming.
It was packed as teens like 17-year-old Caleb Balas of Sugar Notch unplugged and spent quality time playing board games.
“What games do you like to play?” Reporter Madonna Mantione asked.
“I like to play Connect 4,” said Balas.
The non-profit hosts events like this to help families and individuals with autism live an integrated lifestyle.
Balas has been coming here since the location opened along Wyoming Avenue last year.
“We were here for a stitching group, we were here for Hocus Pocus night,” said Balas.
Executive Director of Parenting Autism United Lindsay Dragon says inclusivity is the foundation of the organization that works to address community needs and provide support.
“We’re trying to do all ages and all abilities because when you are a child with autism you then become a teen with autism and then an adult with autism so it’s that never-ending circle of life and we definitely need to appeal to everyone. It’s a large gap in our area and we’re trying to help fill it,” said Dragon.
A mission that’s made possible with the help of other local non-profits and volunteers.
“I just love doing these things with the kids and the families it’s just wonderful to be a part of it. It’s such a tight-knit community. We all either know each other or we get to know each other and it’s like a family almost,” said Lara Gadomski, said Parent Volunteer with S.A.F.E. Inc.
Balas is already looking forward to his next visit.
“Definitely, yes, I would encourage other people to come here,” said Balas.
Parenting Autism United offers a number of different services to the community, including support group meetings, volunteer training, programming, and so much more.