August 27, 2013
Bellevue College student Kevin May was given the opportunity to wear different hats during the annual of Autism Day WA celebration at the Jubilee Farm in Carnation last weekend. Literally.
Diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as a teenager, the Issaquah resident understands the need to identify the outward signs of the disorder at a young age. Given the opportunity to interview and explore the aspects of autism as a reporter assigned to cover the annual Autism Day WA event, he was able to explore the controversy that surrounds the medical diagnosis.
August 7, 2012
The 12th annual Autism Day WA is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 at Jubilee Farms, 229 W. Snoqualmie River Road N.E., Carnation.
The free event for families touched by autism will give families and caretakers an opportunity to relax in the peaceful surroundings of an actual working farm. The day has been designed as an all-day family activity in a relaxed setting with an assortment of activities for children.
July 30, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. July 30, 2010
Help a little boy battle autism at a fundraiser in Issaquah.
Small Threads for Kids, a consignment shop specializing in children’s clothing, hosts the fundraiser Friday and Saturday. Part of the sales benefit a boy in need of medical care for autism.
The store, 1480 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 3, is open 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday.
February 23, 2010
With her straight, brown hair tied in a ponytail, 11-year-old Abbey Powers threw her basketball into the air, bounced it against the backboard and grinned as it fell through the hoop.
Her teammates whooped and her father shouted words of encouragement before the ball even hit the ground.
While many children play basketball, Abbey is a special case. Doctors diagnosed her with both autism and cerebral palsy, although they never gave her family a clear diagnosis that would explain all of her challenges.
“It was unbelievable,” her father Jeff Powers said. “We were told she wouldn’t walk, we were told she wouldn’t talk, we were told she would only live to 2.”
Now a sixth-grader at Pine Lake Middle School, Abbey has a full schedule. Four years ago, her family enrolled her in Special Olympics for a children’s basketball class. At first, her parents only knew of practices in Woodinville, and would drive Abbey all the way from Issaquah so she could dribble the ball as part of a basketball team.
When they learned Issaquah offered a Special Olympics program in their own backyard, they were delighted, Jeff Powers said. But they’re not nearly as excited as Abbey.
“She got up extra early this morning,” her father said as he watched her and her friends play ball at the Issaquah Community Center. “She could hardly wait for basketball.”
December 22, 2009
King County officials nixed a plan last week to put the local 4-H program out to pasture.
A last-minute, $109,000 infusion from the King County Council will keep the program afloat for another year. The youth organization with agricultural roots now includes offerings in things such as plant science, horse riding and robotics.
Local 4-H’ers will also have somewhere to showcase their handiwork: The council allocated $50,000 to continue the King County Fair — the oldest fair west of the Mississippi River.
Councilman Reagan Dunn, who represents unincorporated King County south of Issaquah, said the outcry from 4-H participants and parents prompted the council to adjust the budget.
“I’m glad that we were able to scrape together enough funding for another year, because 4-H is so important to the youth of my district,” Dunn said in a statement released after the Dec. 14 council decision. “I have heard from hundreds of parents and students who participate or have participated in the program. I have seen them in action at the King County Fair. It was very sad to think that the program might end.”
Officials decided to cut money for 4-H as they worked to fill a $56 million county budget gap. After officials announced the cut, however, 4-H supporters rallied to preserve money for the program. Read more
August 25, 2009
In kindergartens today, expectations are far beyond what they were 20 years ago, and the bar seems to be set higher at every grade level. Preschool, once thought of as something to give moms a break and a chance to meet other moms, has become an almost required preparation for kindergarten. Read more
August 18, 2009
When Anne Scroggs learned her son Mitchell Scroggs, 21, had autism in the early 1990s, there was little information and few opportunities for his education.
“When Mitchell was diagnosed, it was so bleak,” she said. “All the literature said people with autism should be institutionalized and that was unacceptable to me. My happy little boy wouldn’t be institutionalized. There was more for him. I knew it.”
Anne and Mitchell Scroggs’ perseverance not only led to Mitchell’s graduation from the Issaquah School District, but to the creation of a curriculum, called Creative Teaching CAP, that Scroggs said she hopes will help other special-needs children reach their graduations as well. Read more
May 26, 2009
50 volunteers turn out to help
Sustainable Issaquah had the idea. AtWork! had the land. At an April 22 work party, all interested constituents came together to map out plans to develop a new community garden.
Sustainable Issaquah, a new community group that champions ecofriendly projects, had decided a community garden would be one of its projects.
AtWork!, a center that provides people with disabilities training to be productive, integrated and contributing members of the community, had the space, on land it leases from the city. AtWork! CEO Chris Brandt thought it would be a good use of the 3,000 square feet of landscape.
“We thought it would be better to use it than just mow it,” Brandt said.
Highlands resident Tariq Panni, who helped build a garden for his community, was asked to help.
“It all came together very quickly with less cost and twice the enthusiasm as the garden I did before,” Panni said. Read more
April 24, 2009
NEW — 6 a.m. April 24, 2009
The Pet Walk for Autism, a fundraising event for the national organization Today’s Hope, is from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. April 25 in the Snoqualmie Historic District.
Several people and their pets from Issaquah have already signed up.
Register and download your sponsorship form here.
February 16, 2009
For many, sight is a given, and most of us will never know what it’s like to wonder things looks like.
But for one local family, sight is a gift and something their 4-year-old daughter doesn’t have.
That could change with your help, said her parents Katie and Dan Connor.
Favorite local Village Theatre actors and musicians, including Dan, will take to the stage in a one-of-a-kind benefit concert, Let the Curtain Rise, for Holly Connor at the theater Feb. 23.
Holly Connor was born Nov. 22, 2004, without complications. But within four months, her parents had a feeling something was very wrong.
“She just wouldn’t look at us,” Katie Connor said. “Whenever we’d call her name or get close to her, she wouldn’t look directly at us.”
After taking her to a pediatric ophthalmologist, doctors told the Connors that Holly was blind.
“I didn’t think it was anything that drastic, but she was blind and that was it,” Katie Connor said. “I cried for a long time.”
Holly underwent an MRI, which showed that during the pregnancy her brain hadn’t developed properly. A lack of hormones during the pregnancy affected her eyes by not creating the proper amount of nerves to form on her optical disk. Holly has both septo optic dysplasia and panhypopituitarism as a result. Read more