Knoxville Community Gives Adults With Autism Hope
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A community in South Knoxville is helping
adults with autism. New homes were recently built for families unable to take
care of their loved ones.
Eleven years ago, parents who had adult children with Autism
formed a not-for-profit organization called Breakthrough
Corporation to help meet their needs.
The focus on Autism is often children, but for many it's is
a life long battle.
Breakthrough Corporation was able to start services for
adults with autism five years ago.
One of its biggest accomplishments was building four homes that
could permanently house adults with Autism. The community is in South Knoxville
off of Maryville Pike.
One of the residents is Luke Koksal, 23. He can't
communicate easily, but has a talent for using the computer. He can type faster
than most people his age.
"One big misconception is that someone can't
communicate very well, that they might not be very intelligent," said Breakthrough Executive Director, Thomas Beeson. "Many adults with Autism
are very intelligent. They just have a difficult time sharing it."
Each year, Breakthrough Corporation helps 40 to 50 adults
with autism. "We have residential services. We are standing in one of the
residential homes. We have a day-service program, and we also have in-home
services for families," Beeson said.
Breakthrough Corporation just received HUD money to built
three additional homes in its South Knoxville location. It also rents four
other homes in different parts of the city.
Officials hope more families will learn their services are
in Knoxville. "It would give them some relief that they know that somebody
out there that could help their child," said board member Terry Ray.
Case in point, Luke Koksal is able to live a relatively
normal life although he has Autism.
All the Knoxville residents living at Breakthrough now have
Medicaid waivers, but for families who don't there are payment plans.
There's currently a waiting list for people needing