By Wayne Allen
January 7, 2014
Common Staff Writer
It recently was announced by the Autism Project of Southern Ohio that Jodie Walker will be taking over as president of the organization at the first of the year.
Walker has been involved with the group for the last 10 years serving as Vice President for the last two.
“We have lots of new things planed (for 2014). I’ve been in contact with a physiologist that’s willing to do evaluations here in our area, instead of having our kids waiting six to eight months to be tested in Cincinnati or Columbus,” Walker said. “We’re also working with the Portsmouth Public Library about doing a lego program, not just for our kids but for all of the kids in the community.”
For the past two years Mike Bell has served as the groups president. Walker acknowledged she is going to have have some big shoes to fill, taking over as president.
“I know Jodie has some fantastic ideas for this coming year when it comes to raising awareness, some different events and some new events,” Bell said. “I know she is going to be a strong advocate for a new idea the autism project has for the state of Ohio to benefit children with autism. One of our members a couple of months ago brought up the idea, of what she called code blue, with blue being the color for autism”
Bell said code blue, would be a status for first responders.
“You would be able to link a phone number or address to a database and when someone with that phone number or address would call for help. First responders would be alerted there is a child with autism at that location,” Bell said. “This is something that we’ve been playing around with over the last couple of months. I know that Jodie will be a strong advocate to get that idea moving this year for the state of Oho.”
Bell said he had a fantastic time as president of the group and he will be staying in a leadership capacity with the organization as vice president.
Walkers said one of the biggest changes she has seen over the years with the group is growth.
She said the group has been using Daymar College for the last couple of years as a meeting space.
“We’ve gown out of those rooms, so now we are going to start having our meetings at the New Boston Community Center, the second Saturday of every month at 6 p.m,” Walker said. “
For more information about the Autism Project of Southern Ohio visit them on facebook.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.