Changing Minds

By: Mesa Messenger Editorial Staff

February 9, 2017

One-in-68 children are reported being diagnosed with and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the Grand Valley, there are about 21,000 kids in District 51, putting it into perspective that 600 of them could be on this autism spectrum.

The Grand Valley unfortunately is falling short of funds for these types of treatments for children who have autism, mental disabilities or any other health issues.

It was noted that there was one pediatric eye specialist in the Grand Valley, then the main eye specialist retired, leaving the community in a dismay because the community didn’t have another pediatric eye specialist around.

This cause and effect hurt the families of the disabled children, because without the proper tools and facilities to take their children has forced some of the families to get up and move to the eastern slope for better services, and more options and treatments for their kids.

Parents have a way of living, where their kids are number one, who are the most important thing in their life. They strive to make their child’s life as healthy and happy as possible and tend do anything and everything to make that come true.

This is hard for parents of the disabled who live in a community with little funding for clinics and organizations that help out these type of children.

Development for Strive is an organization located in the Grand Valley is a dedicated company to help children and adults with mental illness and disabilities like autism, who strive each year to better 1,400 kids and adults by bringing more support and offer help to each individual (Crispin Havener, 2017).

Strive lends a helping hand to Western Colorado as much as needed, but their funds can only go so far. Strive is able to provide therapies for the individuals but unable to keep up with the costs each year.

Unfortunately, each year, strive loses about $180,000 supporting these patients with autism and also their families that are affected by this disability (Crispin Havener, 2017). They can only do so much, but need help with outside sources for funding from both the state and federal.

Autism is a disability that takes a lot of time and effort to not just monitor but to help the individual and the families stay calm and help them in any way, shape or form.

The Grand Valley needs more facilities like strive to help better our disabled community, and ask for more funds to come their way to keep the organization.

There is no way to stop the inevitable that there will be kids who are born with a disability such as autism, but it is possible to be able to create more organizations, and raise more money to help support those who are affected by a disability here on the Western Slope. If more money is provided for these organizations to help the youngest and most vulnerable, then there won’t be a limit on what can be done to help those who need it most.



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