"Three years ago there was an old restaurant on this site. Today we've got a beautiful facility that will enable our children to move forward and become independent," says Suzanne Vitale. Vitale was the driving force behind the new Clinical Education Complex at Western Kentucky University.
There is no other program in the country like the CEC. The CEC will house five clinical programs, Early Childhood Clinic, Communication Disorders Clinic, Family Counseling, Acquired Brain Injury Resource Program, and the Kelly Autism Program.
Vitale says, "My grandson Phillip Proctor was the genesis of the program because when he was diagnosed at two years and three months he was severely autistic at that time."
Phillip says, "Broadway the clown was here and he made me a parrot balloon!"
Now at seven years old Phillip is doing great and helped his grandmother and grandfather with the dedication of the CEC.
Phillip says, "I got to put a figure puzzle in."
Vitale says, "There was a piece missing. And that's the way it is. The piece is different for every autistic child because it's a spectrum disorder. So we use the puzzle piece to represent what we are trying to do here in a multi-disciplinary therapy setting."
Vitale says seeing the CEC become a reality is like a miracle.
Vitale says, "Mainly feelings of humility. I have had so much love and support for this project and I truly believe this project was God directed."