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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.'

Conyers couple recovering after kidney transplant

Conyers couple recovering after kidney transplant

ATLANTA -- Lisa and Speed Young of Conyers are recovering from simultaneous surgeries on Friday at Piedmont Hospital.

Speed developed complications after donating his kidney to his wife of 34 years. He was in the hospital's ICU on Monday, but family members said he is improving.

Meanwhile, Lisa is responding well to the new kidney.

"I thought I loved him before, but this has renewed that for me, the lengths that you go to for the person you love," Lisa said before surgery.

"We see the love that they have for each other," said daughter Mandy Young. "Knowing that love is still there is phenomenal."

Lisa was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease decades ago.

But just last year, Lisa's kidney function began dropping to less than 20 percent, making her a candidate for transplant.

Conyers couple shows love with kidney transplant

Conyers couple shows love with kidney transplant

ATLANTA -- Lisa and Speed Young of Conyers vowed to be faithful in sickness and in health when they were married 34 years ago.

"I thought I loved him before, but this has renewed that for me, the lengths that you go to for the person you love," Lisa said. 

She was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease decades ago.

But just last year, Lisa's kidney function began dropping to less than 20 percent, making her a candidate for transplant.

Her husband was one of several family members and friends who wanted to be tested to be her donor.

"I think a peace came about when he started testing," said Alex Crawford, one of the couple's two daughters. "It was almost like we knew that it as going to be that way. When the call came, it was confirmation. It was an overwhelming feeling."

Turns out, Speed was a perfect match and an eager donor.

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."

Kindergarten registration open through Apr. 30

Kindergarten registration open through Apr. 30

CONYERS, Ga. -- Rockdale County Public Schools is now registering children for kindergarten for the 2013-14 school year.

Registration will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Tuesday, Apr. 30. Parents can sign their children up for kindergarten at the Support Services Building at 1143 West Avenue in Conyers.

To be eligible for kindergarten, a student must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2013.

Parents must bring several documents to kindergarten registration, including the child's birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization and eye/ear/dental records; a proof of residence (property tax receipts or lease agreements will fulfill this requirement); and the parent's photo ID.

Visit rockdale.k12.ga.us for more information about kindergarten registration.

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.