Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri and his wife Susan are proving that having a good time can also help a good cause.
The couple announced Thursday that the 2018 Mayor’s Benefit Gala raised more than $42,000 to benefit the Kelberman Center. The funding will be used to launch an early intervention screening initiative led by a clinical licensed psychologist through the Kelberman Center Clinic.
The program aims to help families with children up to 8 years old by catching early warning signs and then providing them with appropriate services and resources. The program will be available for all families, but it targets those in poverty who otherwise might not have access to the services.
Officials with the Kelberman Center say early intervention is key.
“If there's any question of autism or developmental disability, then we’ll be able to bring them in for a full screen so that we’ll catch autism earlier,” said Dr. Robert Myers, executive director of the Kelberman Center. “One of the most important parts of the work we do is to diagnose children as young as possible so that we can get them into early intervention, because as most of the community knows at this point early, intervention is huge in autism.”
The program is expected to be ready sometime this fall.