The Ken Anderson Foundation was created when Ken and his wife, Cristy, personally witnessed one family’s difficulty to find a home for their adult son diagnosed with autism. And what began as a wake-up call to the struggles of adults with autism and developmental disabilities has blossomed into a passion for the needs of so many.
It all began in 1991, when Drew was born on April 23rd. His parent’s delights of having a healthy vibrant boy were dashed when Drew’s mother began noticing behavioral issues when Drew was 18 months old. After many tests and doctors visits, Drew was finally diagnosed in 1994 with Fragile X syndrome. Drew’s parents were able to put him in a mainstream school at 3 years old but he was kept in a self-contained classroom because of his sometimes violent outbursts. Drew managed until he reached puberty when he blossomed into a tall strong young man. After many months and years of trying to control his outbursts (a common trait of Fragile X syndrome), Drew’s parents reluctantly sought help from state government health facilities. To their dismay, they learned the only option for adults with autism and developmental disorders, like Drew, was the state mental institution. There was no place for an adult living with autism could call home in the area. Many adults like Drew can live a productive and healthy life in a home environment with proper supports. But without a place specifically geared for adults with autism and developmental disabilities, the only answer is a state-run institution which house many mentally ill patients far greater than those like Drew.
After witnessing the struggles that Drew and his family were experiencing, Ken and Cristy Anderson picked up the “ball” and took on the mission of helping adults with autism and developmental disabilities find a place to call home. Ken and Cristy take this mission to heart because Drew is not only their nephew but they quickly learned the struggles that many families in the Greater Cincinnati area are experiencing. So in 2014, The Ken Anderson Foundation was created with the mission to create and sustain a community for adults with autism and developmental disabilities.
The Ken Anderson Foundation combined with Lighthouse Landing to create the Ken Anderson Alliance to create the live, work, and play opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities like Drew. Our future depends on your help.