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Thanks in part to staff at Redwood, honor student Winston Coppage has real reasons to celebrate

Special to the NKy Tribune

There were doubts. Especially from the mom.

Becca Coppage (née Bell), a walk-on basketball performer on the 2000 NCAA Division II national championship team at Northern Kentucky University, had faith.

Becca Coppage (right)after NKU won the 2000 NCAA Division II national title. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

“As a mother of a high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder child, I was more than concerned,” she said. “And, at times I felt helpless.”

Her son Winston was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was only 2-and-a-half years old. “The specialists at Children’s Hospital told us we were fortunate to receive early diagnosis,” she said.

Fortunate is an understatement. Some eight years later, Winston’s progress has been nothing short of amazing – thanks in part to the staff at Redwood, Becca said.

Redwood is the nonprofit, special needs facility located in Northern Kentucky that serves some 750 clients from 6-weeks to 84 years old.

“When Winston first arrived at Redwood,” Becca said, “he was completely non-verbal. Today, he is an expressive and articulate 10-year-old.”

And he turns 11 on May 29.

Winston Coppage just graduated Kenton County Elementary School – with honors.

“He’s reading at grade level, and he’s an excellent speller,” said the proud mom. “In fact, he recently received a Bronze medal for his testing scores from his efforts taking the KPREP test at his school.”

Winston Coppage just graduated Kenton County Elementary School.

More than that, Winston was a member of the school’s bowling team, and made the A/B Honor Roll. But Winston Coppage isn’t finished with his work – nor Redwood.

“He still sees Dr. Susan Wiley at Children’s,” said Becca. “She has been with us the whole journey and met Winston in 2012 and diagnosed him. She is amazing, and we love her.”

As for Redwood, his therapy these days is via Tele-Therapy.

“He just loves the Tele-Therapy,” said Becca. “Perhaps because he is in his environment and more relaxed and very open with the therapists.”

Winston meets Redwood’s Kit Gray for speech (9-9:30 a.m.) and OT with Redwood’s Amy Kinsler.

“He still looks forward to it,” said Becca, “and he finds great comfort in his newfound routine.”

Some may credit hard work – some may call it a minor miracle. Most call it a day’s work at Redwood.

Redwood guides children and adults with severe and multiple disabilities to achieve independence and reach their highest potential throughout their lives, by providing enriching educational, therapeutic and vocational services.

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