$40,000 Contribution Ensures Families Can Get Help With Autistic Children

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Across the country and across Bay County, people are seeing more and more cases of autism spectrum disorder.

"When my daughter was diagnosed it was 1 in 10,000," said George Butchikas, founder of the Butchikas Autism Foundation, "and now the new CDC came out with 1 in 50."

To help fight back, the Butchikas Autism Foundation donated $40,000 Wednesday to the FSU PC Early Childhood Autism Program.

"It'll provide 10 to 11 families in the local community their services for the whole year," said Dr. Amy Polick.

According to Polick, the foundation has donated more than $385,000 in the last 12 years, a dedication that isn't looked over by family and friends of participants in the ECAP program.

"I hope that he can be better and other autism kids can be better and I'm very thankful for it," said Kristof Darvai, who has a younger brother in the program.

However, the Butchakis family doesn't just write checks, they're directly involved with the program.

"I've seen them all since they were small, 3 years, 4 years old and a lot of them are 7, 8 some are adults," said Butchikas. "It's amazing that early intervention is the key and if you can get these kids started at 3 or 4 years old, it's gonna make a big difference in their life."