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Tall, dark-haired and slender, Ray Chumbler IV is a recent magna cum laude graduate of Murray State University in Non-Profit Leadership Studies. He's also been a student ambassador for the Office of Student Disability Services, working to increase an awareness about people who are on the autism spectrum, like he is. He shares his experience living with autism, being diagnosed as a teenager and his hopes for the Ray Chumbler IV Autism Scholarship Endowment scholarship with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good.


When a child is determined to be somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum, parents have new work ahead, navigating the child's progress in life with expert and parent-peers. Paducah has a support group called Families on the Autism Spectrum including Kim Steele, whose own experiences have led her to the consultancy "Child First Advocacy Group." Bloom Behavior Clinical Director Dr. Becky Nastally is a Paducah-based psychologist and an advocate who specializes in helping families make sure their kids ge the most appropriate services from area schools. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte branches off of an earlier conversation, to learn more about how parents deal with teachers and schools.


Developers of a new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility in Marshall County are hoping to make it easier for families with autistic children to find treatment in the Jackson Purchase Area.  

Drs. Maqbool Ahmed and Wasim Sajid are partnering to develop the 24-bed Purchase Youth Villages facility near Benton specializing in treating children ages 4 to 21 with severe autism.

There's been national news this week about the loneliness of families living with autism spectrum disorder and finding little support. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with Dr. Becky Nastally, who founded Bloom Behavior Therapy, LLC. in Paducah. She works with children with autism and other developmental disabilities, their families and the schools in which they study.

Families on the Spectrum, Facebook

Families on the Spectrum president Krissy Ramey visits Sounds Good to tell us about the development of the Western Kentucky Autism Spectrum Center for which fundraising is underway. Ramey says the goal is to be a one-stop autism shop for the region, where a child or adult with autism or family member can come for support and community.

Autism Center Coming to West Kentucky

Sep 1, 2014
Lance Dennee/WKMS

A new facility specializing in autism treatments is coming to Paducah. Families on the Spectrum President Krissy Ramey made the announcement Thursday evening at West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Pediatric neurologist Dr. Gregory Barnes from the Commission for Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Louisville is opening the Office of Autism in Kentucky, a statewide and regional office providing support for families and caregivers by coordinating resources, and giving referrals -  local points of contact - of specific physicians such as pediatric developmental doctors. Crissy Ramey of Families on the Spectrum comes back to Sounds Good to tell us about the meeting at Lourdes tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 22), welcoming Dr. Barnes to Paducah.

Paducah's Crissy Ramey of Families On The Spectrum joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to talk more about parents of autistic kids dealing with IEPs, or Individualized Education Programs. Families on the Spectrum is a new local non-profit group, whose goal is to provide fun family outings, meetings, parents' nights out, and to offer community support for autism families in western Kentucky.

Hear the conversation:

Murray's Playhouse in the Park is starting a program for kids with special needs called The Penguin Project. At 6 p.m. this Thursday (May 22) and next Thursday (May 29), Playhouse hosts introductory  - get acquainted meetings for special needs youth with youth interested in becoming peer mentors, and anyone who wants to know more about the project. Kate Lochte learns more with founder and director Dr. Andy Morgan. Dr. Morgan is a professor of clinical pediatrics and former head of the Division of Child Development at the University College of Medicine in Peoria, Illinois.

Families on the Spectrum is a support group for families of autistic children with outreach based on love, awareness and acceptance. Krissy Ramey is one of its board members, the parent of an autistic child, and an aggregator of information about real life with autism. Kate Lochte speaks with Ramey about the group and how you can get involved.