NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Eliza Hope Foundation hosting fall festivities to help support families impacted by Autism

Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 12:00:13-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - A local organization is celebrating fun fall festivities while supporting a great cause at Red Wing Park on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Think about being a parent with a kid on the Autism spectrum, and not being able to help them get to therapy appointments and doctor visits because of the distance and cost of driving across Hampton Roads.

This unfortunate dilemma for some parents across is the reason why the Eliza Hope Foundation is hosting its Pumpkins, Pinecones and Popcorn event this weekend.

The free festivities will have food, face painting, pumpkins for paints and decorating, plus much more.

The Eliza Hope Foundation, which serves children and families affected by Autism, also helps provide educational and therapeutic support for children living with autism spectrum disorders.

The foundation recently opened a center that features therapy rooms, plus a small group setting for kids on the Autism spectrum, who can interact in small groups safely, while coming and going from therapy.

This organization making an impact across the region and country was started out of tragedy.

Aimee Darby's life changed the day her daughter Eliza, who suffered from intractable epilepsy and autism, passed away from causes associated with her epilepsy.

Since then, Darby and others in the community have worked to create a place where the needs of families impacted by Autism can get their needs met under one roof.

"What I realized during that time (when she was providing care for Eliza) is there are very few providers who can see your child on a full-time basis," said Darby, who struggled to find a pre-school for Eliza to attend. Even those for kids with special needs couldn't take her in. On top of that, there was the struggle of where to go for speech, occupational, feeding, physical therapy and more.

The center opened in June and serves about 150 children weekly.

You can learn more about the Eliza Hope Foundation here.