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The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

ATLANTA -- The YMCA of Metro Atlanta kicked off a campaign on Tuesday that will connect families in need with scholarships, allowing them to participate in YMCA programs. 

The campaign, Why It Matters takes place once a year. For 2013, board members Charlie Yates, Jr. and Carol Cookerly will co-chair the campaign as it works towards raising $2.7 million. 

"The Y has always had an annual campaign that helped meet the need for financial assistance," Cookerly said. "But, this marks the first year we are pulling together our 23 local Ys and launching a system-wide brand and effort to secure the funds we need to continue to play a pivotal role in Atlanta by helping individuals, especially children, reach their greatest potential."

Gas South, community partners give gift of circus fun to 425 children

Gas South, community partners give gift of circus fun to 425 children

ATLANTA -- Gas South, along with some other community partners will take 425 kids with special needs and their families to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus.

As reported by a spokeswoman for Gas South, the company is teaming with the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association and Feld Entertainment to make the night of circus fun happen. The 425 children and families will get free admission to the circus, the DRAGONS and Magical Journey, as well as a private pre-show where the children can interact with the circus animals and performers on the arena floor. 

The shows are set for February 15 at Philips Arena and February 22 at the Gwinnett Center. There will be special access for wheelchairs, along with other mobility devices as needed. 

Fulton Health and Human Services opens One-of-a-Kind Facility

Fulton Health and Human Services opens One-of-a-Kind Facility

ATLANTA -- The newly renovated Oak Hill Child, Adolescent and Family Center, located at 2805 Metropolitan Parkway in Atlanta, officially re-opens Thursday, February 7 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. The center sits on a 22-acre campus and will provide coordinated care to children and their families from all over Fulton County.

Fulton residents encouraged to 'Walk Ga.'

Fulton residents encouraged to 'Walk Ga.'

ATLANTA -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension wants all residents to develop regular physical activity habits, get healthier and have fun while “walking across Georgia”.  Daily activities such as walking the dog, going for a jog and playing catch with the kids quickly add up to virtual miles that are used to “walk” across the state. 

“We invite all residents who made New Year’s resolutions to get fit and be healthier to join our initiative,” says Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Although this event is called Walk Georgia, any form of activity can be logged to track mileage.  The primary goal is to get moving.”

Chick-fil-A Daddy-Daughter Date Night returns in 2013

Chick-fil-A Daddy-Daughter Date Night returns in 2013

ATLANTA -- Chick-fil-A's wildly popular Daddy-Daughter Date Night will return in February.

More than 100 Atlanta- and Athens-area Chick-fil-A restaurants will host the event on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Every couple in attendance will receive an activity sheet with conversation topics and a booklet called "Continuing the Conversation," which gives the dads and daughters suggestions for getting to know each other better.

"One of Chick-fil-A's goals is to promote community connections and enrich the lives of everyone we serve," Chick-fil-A area marketing director Robin Lomax said in a statement. "We understand the importance of father-daughter relationships and want to encourage dads to take a break from busy schedules, enjoy their daughters' company over a meal and have fun."

Hundreds attend AKA peace rally

Hundreds attend AKA peace rally

ATLANTA -- More than 200 metro Atlanta middle school students attended a peace rally and workshop hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. over the weekend.

The rally was a kickoff for 40 Days of Peace, which begins Monday. 40 Days of Peace is a commitment to kindness and service that encourages young people to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At Saturday's rally, speakers encouraged attendees to stop bullying and stay out of gangs. Police officers gave a presentation on how to interact with law enforcement.

A concurrent workshop for the parents in attendance focused on implementing strategies to keep children safe and on the right track in life.