News Article Details

Autism families come together for conference

Valdosta Daily Times - 9/11/2018

Sept. 10--VALDOSTA -- AutismHope4U hosted its first conference for parents and caregivers of autistic children Saturday at the Crossroads Baptist Church.

With about 100 guests in attendance, Tammy Greenway, founder of AutismHope4U, said putting together a conference in Valdosta has been a passion project for her.

"I've been going to conferences all my life because my son has autism," Greenway said. "People around here just do not have the information that I was able to get in Jacksonville and Atlanta. I had to do this and I had to bring it here to a lot of these parents who are struggling."

Greenway discovered her son had autism about 15 years ago. Despite constant research, she didn't have all of the answers, but meeting Dr. Julia Buckley helped.

Staying in close contact with Buckley ever since, she invited the doctor to speak at her conference along with Janeen Herskovitz, a licensed mental health counselor that deals with autism caregivers.

Both Buckley and Herskovitz traveled from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to discuss topics such as diet, autism during puberty and presuming competence.

"Without knowledge or understanding of what's wrong and how we can go about helping our children and young people with autism, we're going to be overrun by a problem that people don't know how to manage," Buckley said.

It's especially important to spread autism information, Buckley said, because autism is on the rise.

Because of the turnout this year, Greenway said she expects the event to grow and become an annual conference.

Some sponsors included Valdosta Pediatric Therapy, Hogan's Pharmacy and Rise Real Estate. The event also received a donated lunch from Jersey Mike's.

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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