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WICHITA, Kansas — A local woman is on a mission to bring families in the area living with autism together, and at the same time raise money for her son’s much-needed therapy dog.
Her project is coming together and creating 12 months of autism awareness. The past couple years Cindi Hartley’s been on a huge learning curve.
“You learn to slow down, little things become huge,” explains Cindi. Two years ago her son David was diagnosed with autism.
Rather than be upset about his diagnosis, she says she rejoiced knowing her son could now get the help he needs. Cindi explains, “When you have a bunch of people around you that just don’t understand it can isolate you.”
Wanting to find other families in the Wichita area living in homes with an autism diagnosis, Cindi created ‘Dog for David.’
“I want to be able to get the families together so we can have a support network, get together so other people know there’s someone who understands what they’re going through,” says Cindi. “No matter where their child is on the spectrum, we all need someone that gets it, that understands.”
So she came up with an idea to create a calendar. It will feature local families living with autism, raise awareness and help raise money for her son David to get a much needed service dog.
“I was super excited I think it’s so awesome they have service dogs and I’m super excited to be able to help,” says photographer Nichole Hanna, who is taking the photographs for the calendar and says it’s a combination of her love of photography with her compassion for others.
“A lot of it is following them around and catching their personality,” says Nichole. “I really love to do that. It’s my passion.” The Dog for David calendars will be sold nationwide online.
If you or someone you know is living with autism and would like to be included you can contact ‘Dog for David’ via Facebook.