Living with Autism
Autism is a "Life Long" neurological disorder.
"Life Long", these words are devastating to parents of an Autistic child. These words still "echo" in our minds each and every day. In February 2005 at just 18 months old, our beautiful son "Michael" was diagnosed with Autism. Unbeknown to our family, our lives would be altered forever.
Days at the park, trips to the mall were all replaced with doctor visits and therapy sessions. Play dates became non existent. Socialization became isolation, spending countless hours in search of answers which would never be found.
Providing for a child with Autism can really create a financial dilemma for a family. By 2009 our family was faced with a financial crisis; all of our savings had been utilized for much needed therapy for our son. Faced with yet another obstacle and no other alternative we decided to surrender our home to provide these much needed services that our beautiful son required.
Intervention at a young age for children with Autism is imperative. Services such as Speech, Occupational & Physical therapies can be extremely expensive as well as ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) which is a scientific based practice that focuses on predicting, explaining and changing behaviors.
These services are certainly required for children with Autism. Sadly, most families will find out first hand as we did, that these services are very rarely covered through any Medical insurance.
Evaluations such as (Psychological, Speech, Occupational and Physical) are fundamental in establishing an educational program that offers the greatest opportunity for a child with Autism to learn. These evaluations can cost a family anywhere from $500 to $5000 for each Evaluation.
Our son "Michael" experiences life in ways we all have yet to understand, he continues to struggle each day, but manages to always have a smile on his face. He is our heart & soul; he is our precious gift from god!
In February 2010 our son received a gift of hope. Guiding Eyes for the Blind's "Heeling Autism" program provided a miracle-a service dog named Kevin. "Kevin" provides our son with much needed companionship and unconditional love, and he almost requires nothing in return. Miracles and Hope do exist! This wonderful gift of hope has inspired our family to help others affected by this lifelong disability.
Statistics show that children affected by Autism are rising each year at an astounding rate, we need to overcome these many obstacles and help make a difference.