In 2003, Project Independence was founded by Carol Mesa for the purpose of raising awareness and creating resources for families caring for a family member diagnosed with Autism. Her teenage son, Tony, was diagnosed with Autism in his elementary years. The Mesa family was not prepared for the regressive capability of this disorder as Tony matured. The constant strain on the family was overwhelming. Carol was compelled to create an organization that would offer support for families in Louisiana, as well as improve the quality of life for Tony and the autism community.
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S., affecting 1 in 110 children. Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, to reason and interact with others causing extreme behaviors. Currently, there are no effective means to prevent autism and no known cause or cure for this mysterious affliction.
Project Independence is strictly a volunteer organization.
PHOTO: Board of Directors(from top left) Katie Brown (Secretary), Donald Royer(Chairman "Ride for Autism", Barbara & Daniel Royer, Jean duTreil(Advocacy Committee), Bottom left -Carol Mesa(President & Founder) sitting Jessica Knowles( new member-volunteer) Missing ,Kemper Bowen (Vice President)
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