Ribbon cutting for Golden Triangle Autism Center draws crowd

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Citizens and local officials gathered yesterday morning for the ribbon cutting and official dedication for the Golden Triangle Autism Center.
ARC of Clay County Cindy Smith said the building was originally used as a prekindergarten for 4-year-olds with and without special needs, as well as a school for 3-year-olds with speech problems.
Smith said the Arc of Clay County donated the building to Community Counseling to be used as a school for children with autism.
“We are very thankful that we were able to donate this wonderful building to Community Counseling,” Smith said.
The Director of the Golden Triangle Autism Center Amber Orman said she found the inspiration for the center when she began her career working with special needs children in Tupelo.
“I realized as I was working with children with autism in Tupelo how many children in the Golden Triangle need services, and I’m living in West Point,” Orman said. “So I thought, ‘Why not start seeing children here?’”
Orman said she began working with special needs children a few days a week in Starkville in a room shared with a music therapist.
Orman said more children kept coming, and the center’s need for space grew. She said the center began renting a building from Community Counseling, and in October the two groups merged.”
Community Counseling Foundation Board President Bud Phillips said one in 68 children are affected by autism, and Community Counseling served seven counties in Mississippi.
“I cannot begin to express how much this means to me and how much it means to children and families affected by autism,” Orman said.” Resources are limited not only in our area, but in Mississippi, So this is a huge opportunity for children with autism and their families,”