Bringing awareness to autism through a gala

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Eleven year old Ryan Unumb was diagnosed with autism at an early age.

Itâ??s a disorder that affects the brains normal development of social and communication skills.

For individuals like him learning can be challenging in a typical classroom setting.

But thanks to his parents, Ryan and others get the specialized instruction that they need.

â??We provide an intensive behavior analytical model which over time has shown to be very beneficial for children with autism,â?? says Matt Wood, Executive Director Autism Academy of South Carolina.

His parents Lori and Dan Unumb helped to establish the Autism Academy of South Carolina.

Itâ??s a not for profit school aimed at helping those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Curriculum here is catered to the need of the student.

The academy is housed with a board certified behavior analyst and therapists who specialize in psychology and related disciplines.

This school is just one of the latest pushes by the family to bring help to those with autism.

Ryanâ??s Law was passed in the Palmetto State in 2007.

It requires insurance companies in the state to provide medical coverage for persons who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Included in the coverage is $50,000 a year for behavioral therapy much like what is offered at the academy.

Currently the Autism Academy of South Carolina is being housed on the campus of Capital City Baptist Church.

Autism academy administrators say their next step is to help establish the academy across the palmetto state.

As for Ryan his instructors say he's making outstanding gains in the areas of language and his developmental skills.

The "Blues in the Night" awareness gala is taking place Saturday April 28th at the Palmetto Club located at 1301 Gervais Street. It starts at 6pm.

The purpose of the gala is to honor the lawmakers who helped to pass Ryanâ??s Law and to support the academy.