Landon was just under a year old when his mother Lauren began noticing that he was not reaching all of his milestones. He developed little quirks such as flapping his arms, and he only spoke three words (mom, dad, ball). At first, the family searched for a speech therapist and connected with one through early childhood intervention services. Within five minutes of visiting with Landon, the therapist asked if they had thought of autism, so Lauren began researching autism that night.
At a dinner with friends, another mother shared that her son had autism, and mentioned Hope For Three. Lauren called Hope For Three the very next day and began working with a staff member who helped to connect the family with available resources in the community. For Lauren, what stands out about Hope For Three was the ability to provide comfort through the application process, and compassion for what the family was now going through. Initially, the family was awarded funding for Landon to attend Texana Center for specialized services. Landon was then able to transition to the Westview School, a school for children with autism, and has progressed by leaps and bounds. “You would never know Landon has autism. He now likes being the center of attention, makes eye contact, speaks in full sentences, and enjoys playing with his older sister,” says Lauren. She contributes Landon’s success to God and Hope For Three.
Autism is a neurological disorder that results in impaired social interaction and communication skills, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. Over 3,000 children in Fort Bend County schools are diagnosed with autism. “Awareness is the key to understanding and acceptance,” says Hope For Three Executive Director Darla Farmer. Hope For Three was founded in 2011 with a focus on creating awareness, connecting families to resources anywhere in the United States, and providing financial assistance to families living with autism spectrum disorder in Fort Bend County so that they have access to services.
In addition to promoting awareness and connecting families to resources, Hope For Three provides:
The George Foundation has been a partner of Hope For Three since 2012, beginning with a grant to help fund financial assistance to families with children diagnosed with autism. Since then, the Foundation’s support has helped facilitate Hope For Three’s continued impact in our community through operating grants to expand program staff and general support. The Foundation has also supported Hope For Three through Youth In Philanthropy (YIP) grants, awards selected by Fort Bend students who have completed a community service project for the organization through the Foundation’s YIP program. The George Foundation is proud to support Hope For Three so that families affected by autism can continue to receive the resources and services they need.
To learn more about Hope For Three and the work being done to raise awareness about autism, please visit the Hope For Three website.