August 30, 2009

Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism

The Carmen B. Pingree Center is less than a mile away from our house!

A few days ago at dinner with my father and Dr. Janet Lainhart I learned about a resource for autistic children in the state of Utah: the Carmen B. Pingree Center for Children with Autism. Janet is the Medical Director for the University of Utah Autism Clinic and works closely with the Pingree Center. She believes that Bertrand would benefit from their preschool. Fortunately, the preschool program is funded publicly through the State Division of Mental Health.

Unfortunately, the The Elementary/Secondary Program is a private pay organization. Families are assessed fees based on IRS tax information. The fees are augmented by an endowment fund where interest from the endowment is used as a tuition stipend based on the families ability to pay. Tuition for one year is $28,500. That's a bridge we'll cross when we get to it.

I am still wrapping my head around the possibility that Bertrand may be alive to go to a preschool! And it is one with a 2:1 student to teacher ratio with the resources to cope with him if he stays nonverbal and nonambulatory! This is a very good thing.

There is a waiting list for the school. The entire school has only 70 spots (50 of which are for the preschool). Bertrand is getting on the list first thing tomorrow!