Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ethan would love to say “I love you” to his Mommy and Daddy, but he can’t.

Ethan has Autism. 

This is the first of many posts I will be making to document the progress Ethan makes on his journey in IBI Therapy to learn to speak and communicate.

YouCaring - Help Ethan Overcome Autism

Our beautiful grandson Ethan is almost 4 now, and is a loving, bright and charming little boy with an infectious laugh and an engaging smile. He loves his Mommy and Daddy, (and his grandparents as well!) as well as his dog and cat. Ethan has a wide and varied number of interests and skills. He loves music, animals, enjoys trying his hand at playing several instruments, looks at books and listens attentively to stories, he loves gardens and nature; he is truly a tree hugger.

On walks with his family he will run up to trees and hug them like they were long lost friends, talking to them like old buddies. He loves gardens and will spend hours sitting amongst the flowers, smelling, touching and stroking them gently. He will get right down into the blooms and lie down in the garden.

Baby Ethan, loves to be tickled

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Ethan loves swimming and water, he has no fear and jumps in ahead of the others, with no  reservations, as if he was born to swim.

He loves his swimming lessons, he knows when he is going every Saturday morning, and is quite distraught when he realizes he isn't going!

This Saturday is his last lesson, I am sure he will be disappointed when they are over.  Ethan was described as the most fearless and enthusiastic in his swim class.

Ethan loves to arrange and sequence blocks, toys and and numbers. One day, after years of his parents reading and counting with him, he picked up his number puzzles and just started putting them in order by himself. He had been watching and listening all along, then just after 2 years old he started doing it himself. He sorts and sequences objects with skills and ability beyond his age group.

Ethan has chattered away in his own language since he was very young, amusing himself in his crib for hours. However, he didn't formulate any words until just a few weeks ago,  since he has been receiving IBI therapy for language and communication.

Ethan was delayed in reaching many of his milestones: sitting up and crawling late, walking late, feeding himself, and as the months rolled by we realized he was falling behind toddlers his own age. And yet he also seemed to be so intensely engaged and focused with certain activities, you could tell a lot was going on in his little mind, and he seemed to be intensely aware of everything around him.

After waiting for almost a year and a half,  Ethan’s parents decided to obtain private IBI at $65 a session, for 3 sessions of IBI per week. That’s almost $900 a month! The minimum recommended programming is 20 -25 hours per week, at a cost of $2080 a month, almost $25,000 a year. 

But even the few hours of therapy a week have made an enormous difference for Ethan! The results were immediate and impressive! He has started by acquiring a few words such as “boy”, “hurray”, “juice”, “light” and he is now saying "bubbles",  "apple", “giraffe”, “zebra”, "cookie", "tickle" and a few other words spontaneously  Facebook - Help Ethan Overcome Autism .   His eye contact has noticeably improved, he points and gestures spontaneously, and is far more comfortable and interactive with other adults.

Ethan is on the waiting list in the Cambridge Ontario area for government funding for IBI, but the waiting list is long and there is no sign that he may be accepted soon. Unfortunately private therapy is extremely costly, and his young mom and dad are going further into debt to pay for the therapy and are at their breaking point. I am reaching out to my friends, family and contacts to help continue Ethan’s therapy and help him continue to achieve. He has made so much progress, it would break our hearts to see him slip back.

Unfortunately the Canadian Government has allocated limited funds to helping developing toddlers and children with ASD, leaving most to fund their own therapies. More information for IBI and ABA therapies can be found at the website for the Geneva Centre for Autism the World leader in the study and treatment of Autism

We have set up a YouCaring site to raise funds to continue with Ethan's IBI Therapy at
YouCaring - Help Ethan Overcome Autism

If you can even just share this with your friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, anything will help! Every little bit is appreciated! We have also set up a Facebook page for fundraising for Ethan's therapy at   Facebook - Help Ethan Overcome Autism

Thank you, keep checking in for more pictures, videos and stories, as well as progress in raising funds!