University thanks Dinh family for support in honor of Tony Dinh

MURRAY, Ky. — The family of a Murray High School student who passed away last month has asked for donations for the Murray State University Autism Specialty Program in the College of Education and Human Services.

Tony Dinh, 19, passed away in his sleep on Feb. 27. He is survived by his loving parents, Tri and Lan Dinh, his twin brother Timmy Dinh, his grandmother, Hoa Dinh, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Giao Dinh, and grandparents Mai Quach and Huyen Dinh.

“The family would like to take this opportunity to thank every person in the Murray Independent School District,” Tony’s family wrote in his obituary. “Tony was treated with such kindness and compassion throughout his educational career. We will forever be grateful for his special education teachers and all the staff for their loving support and encouragement during this journey. We also would like to express our gratitude to all of Tony’s doctors and nurses that always gave him the best medical care possible.”

Tony’s mother, Lan, said expressions of sympathy may be donated to the Murray State University Autism Specialty Program (payable to the Murray State University Foundation) to the Office of Development at 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, KY 42071; Tony struggled from autism spectrum disorder.

“People were telling us about the program and we wanted to help,” Lan said. “We appreciate any donations.”

Murray State University Autism Specialty Program Director Dr. Sean Simons thanked the Dinhs for their selflessness during this difficult time.

“We’re privileged to honor his life and the family’s dedication to providing services for students with ASD,” Simons said. “Our clinic is working to provide these vital services in light of Murray State’s mission.

The program, which launched earlier this year in Alexander Hall, provides diagnostic services as well as training for families. Simons said the goal is to have an affordable clinic available to the Murray community, with the other closest locations in Louisville, or as far as Tennessee.

“Families usually take a full day to drive that far, and it can be very expensive — in the thousands of dollars,” Simons said. “Our ASD evaluations only cost $250. Most places have a wait time of a year or more, and ours take weeks.”

The Autism Specialty Program is a university training clinic affiliated with the school psychology program at Murray State University. Students are provided a unique opportunity to take what they learn in class and practice under the mentorship of faculty, including Dr. Simons. As a school psychology student, students learn how to meet the unique needs of children and youth in a meaningful way. To learn more, please visit murraystate.edu/schoolpsychology.

Photo: The family of a Murray High School student who passed away last month has asked for donations for the Murray State University Autism Specialty Program in the College of Education and Human Services. Pictured is Alexander Hall, home of the Murray State University Autism Specialty Program.

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