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June 8, 2010

By Travis Crum

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — Christy Ramsey talks of the abusive childhood that Ryan Bush had to endure. She tells how at school he was so aggressive he had to be kept 10 feet away from other children, refused to sit still in class, and was unable to speak.

Thirteen years later, Ramsey — Bush’s autism mentor — tells the story of how she got the honor of watching Bush graduate from St. Albans High School a few weeks ago. It’s a feat many people thought would never happen.

Bush, 19, of Cross Lanes, thanked everyone the night of his graduation party for their help in his journey, especially Ramsey, who has been his mentor for 13 years.

“I said, ‘Thank you for being my best mentor since kindergarten through senior year, and you deserve a big award,’ ” Bush said.

Ramsey has been more than a mentor to Bush; she was there for him when others weren’t.

She began working with Bush as a child when he was severely autistic and had problems with lashing out at others and communicating. She said she came to understand that his violent behaviors stemmed from a bad home life and began calling on the state Department of Health and Human Resources to intervene.

After years of trying, Ramsey had Bush removed from the custody of his mother with the help of Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Bush was placed in a foster home — but that wasn’t a good fit either, she said.

Once again Ramsey took to the telephone until she finally got Bush placed with a permanent adoptive family.

Jodie and Greg Carr adopted Bush at age 15 after meeting him and falling in love with his personality.

Read in Full:  http://wvgazette.com/News/201006080749



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