The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal has named Carol Ford as April’s Citizen of the Month, a program sponsored by Dorsey Funeral Home in Shinnston – locally owned & operated.
By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
On April 29, Carol Ford will be among those walking at the 5th Annual Walk for Autism at the Clarksburg City Park in Nutter Fort. As both a parent advocate and a secretary for the board of the Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia, Ford has been instrumental in raising awareness about autism and offering family programming, support and information to 126 families in seven counties.
When her youngest was diagnosed with autism in 2000, she and her husband Brad dedicated their lives to using their faith to make a difference in the lives of families dealing with autism. She served on the board of the Marshall University Autism Training Center and worked as a resource facilitator for the program as well as a parent support for the family focus groups.
Through her work with the Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society, she helps coordinate events for families in Barbour, Doddridge, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia and Taylor Counties. The group has created annual swimming challenges and taken trips to the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo, and Kennywood. Locally, they have bowled together, skated together and attended sensory friendly films together. Most recently, they went to the Launch Pad trampoline park in Morgantown as well. Additionally, the group has sponsored training for first responders as well as speakers for issues families commonly deal with.
Ford has shared her experiences with autism by giving presentations to local civic organizations. She also spoke at the West Virginia Autism Convention and the National Autism Convention. She and her youngest son volunteer weekly with the Harrison County Humane Society as well as sharing horseback riding lessons, art lessons and therapy sessions.
While her children were in school, Ford served as homeroom mother, PTA President, and was very involved with their activities. She is a member of the Bridgeport United Methodist Church, where she participates in Matin Ringers Bell Choir, several Bible studies and recently developed L.I.F.T. Ministry for women.
Her oldest son currently plays professional golf on the Swing Thought Golf Tour in Florida and the Carolinas and she is his biggest fan. Throughout her journey, Ford continues to give God the credit for her blessings and opportunities and seeks new ways to use her experiences to serve others.
For additional information about the Walk for Autism, send inquiries to [email protected].