Since 1967, Pathways, Inc., has proudly served as a community-based center for mental health care, the prevention and treatment of alcohol and other addictions, and services for individuals with mental retardation or developmental disabilities. Together, these services provide a network to promote the emotional health and well-being of our citizens and communities. Pathways operates more than 50 facilities in a ten-county region and continues to grow. More than 500 employees provide complete and professional services.
The Pathways philosophy is to provide a complete package of prevention and treatment services designed to meet community needs. Through these unified services, we seek to promote the growth of people toward higher levels of functioning, greater self-esteem, emotional maturity, competence, and self-responsibility.
Pathways, Inc FAQ
For those in our viewing audience who aren't familiar with Pathways, will you tell us a bit about Pathways?
Pathways is a community behavioral health center with its administrative offices in Ashland, Kentucky. It is a private, nonprofit company that provides comprehensive behavioral health services to residents of all ages and primarily serves the counties of Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, and Rowan counties, Kentucky. Pathways was formed in direct response to the Community Mental Health Act signed into law in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. In fact, it was the last law he signed prior to his assassination. This law established comprehensive community mental health centers across the country, leading to the de-institutionalization of those with behavioral health disorders with a resulting move back into communities for community-based treatment. Pathways has been in operation since 1966 and is about to celebrate 50 years of existence in the behavioral health field. Our services span mental health, addiction, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and prevention. Pathways serves approximately 16,000 people per year, employs about 450 staff members, and operates in 30 facilities in its 10-county area.
Today, you're here to discuss a particular event that Pathways' Foundation, Pathways to Bright Futures, is sponsoring this Saturday, August 22nd, beginning at 7:00 pm regarding autism services. Tell us about that.
For the past several years, Pathways has begun to focus on the issue of autism because we have learned that providers for the assessment and treatment of autism are few and far between in our area. We learned that many families were traveling to Louisville, Kentucky or Cincinnati, Ohio to receive assessment and treatment for their children and further, that appointments for assessments could be scheduled as far as one to one- and one-half years from the time a family made initial contact. Clearly, this is unacceptable for our families in the northeastern region of Kentucky and our neighbors in Ohio and West Virginia, especially when we know that the earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more positive the outcome for our children. Pathways has a goal of building a freestanding autism center in the Ashland, Kentucky area, and we have made fundraising efforts toward that goal for several years. The All American Bash, which will be held in Ashland this Saturday night at the Old Post Office, 1645 Winchester Avenue, beginning at 7:00 pm with dinner, followed by music and dancing, is our first annual event geared specifically toward raising funds for expanded autism services with the ultimate goal of a freestanding autism center for families in our area.
Tell us a bit more about autism and why moms and families should be concerned.
The latest statistics suggest that the incidence of autism is currently 1 in 68 children, with the prevalence in males being 4-5 more times prevalent than in females. It is a bio-neurological developmental disability, which usually begins before age 3, and is a life-long disability. As I said earlier, the sooner it is diagnosed, the more positive the outcome for the child. Estimates of the impact of autism on the healthcare industry suggest a cost of more than 60 billion dollars annually. Families with a child with autism are expected to spend an estimated 3 to 5 million dollars in services throughout the lifetime of the child. Clearly, this is an issue that affects our nation at all levels.
What are the signs and symptoms of autism, and when should moms and families become concerned?
Autism, and autism spectrum disorders (which generally means not full autism but having some features of it), refer to the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. The symptoms can involve problems or delays in routines, communication, and social interaction and are usually seen before a child reaches the age of 3. The Centers for Diseases Control and Preventions (CDC), suggest that the following symptoms are often seen in a child with autism or autism spectrum disorder: always wants to be alone, avoids eye contact with others (this is not the 2-year-old who avoids eye contact because he/she knows he is in trouble for bad behavior), does not respond when called by name by age 2 or thereabouts, easily dismayed by minor changes, echoes or repeats what others have just said, obsessive interests, has difficulty expressing or talking about feelings, has poor speech and language skills, provides irrelevant answers to questions, reacts in weird ways to the way things look, feel, smell, taste, or sound. If any of these things seem to be more than ordinary developmental stages, a consultation with a healthcare professional is warranted. To diagnose autism and its variants, a developmental screening is the first step. Developmental screenings should be performed at 9. 18, 24, and occasionally after 30 months of age. If a parent is concerned, consultation should be sought. As with so many things, better safe than sorry. There is no cure for autism, but there is help and hope.
Please tell us the details about the All American Bash.
As I mentioned earlier, it is sponsored by the Pathways to Bright Futures Foundation, which is a supporting Foundation for Pathways. This year's event is the first annual All American Bash and will be held this Saturday night, August 22, 2015 at the Old Post Office, 1645 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, KY. Dinner begins at 7:00 pm and will be provided by the Scioto Ribber. Dinner ends at 9:00. Music will be provided by Mad Dog Mean and DJ Brent Sager. The Emcee will be Cletus T. Judd. Tickets are still available at the door for 125.00, dinner and drinks included. Dress is casual; fun is mandatory. For tickets prior to the event, please contact Marshall Tyson at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 606-329-8588, extension 4128. You may also go to http://www.pathways-ky.org/.
Go to events, hit the link for All American Bash 2015, and you may register there.