Many prayers and constant hope have given Will, along with his parents Jeff and Kristi, reason to believe that unmanageable autism will soon be part of their past.
For the last two years, members of Antioch Baptist Church have been working hard to ensure that Wills future is a bright one. The church has seen to it that Will gets the expensive but necessary therapy that he needs through special fundraising projects at the church.
And this year will be no different.
The Antioch Baptist Church and their Women on a Mission group (WOM) have scheduled the Antioch Tour of Homes for this Sunday, Dec. 4 and all proceeds from the event will go towards the Will Dabbs Autism Fund.
Therapy expenses, Wills mom said, run about $65 per hour. He also takes shots every other day that cost $100 each month and has costly consultations with a specialist in Texas. Though pricey, Kristi said the therapy and medical treatments are well worth it.
Weve seen so much success with the therapy. He wasnt able to say mama until he was four, explains Kristi. Now hes in a regular first grade class with a para-pro and hes making all As and Bs.
Autism is a brain disorder that often interferes with a persons ability to communicate with and relate to others. It also affects how a child perceives and processes sensory information.
The Dabbs medical expenses, just like other families who struggle with the financial load of autism, are not covered by insurance.
Thats why members of the church, where Wills father is pastor, are stepping in to help.
Tickets to the tour, which features four homes located in the Antioch Community, cost $10 and can be purchased at First National Bank, United Bank and Trust and SunTrust Bank in both Rockmart and Cedartown.
Tickets can also be purchased on Dec. 4 at the Antioch Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.
This isnt the first time that the church has supported and even helped the Dabbs, offering a shoulder to cry on and an outlet to verbalize their emotions.
In an article written by Wills father, Jeff, and published in the Summer 2005 edition of Special Education Today, Dabbs said the congregation at Antioch has truly demonstrated what it means to be a church family.
They have never complained when Will escapes during the service and runs up to his daddy behind the pulpit. These people are great, Dabbs said, Words can never adequately tell them what a blessing they have been to our family.