We need to share with you the sincere and genuine appreciation that my family and I feel at the amazing generosity shown to us at Christmas 2011 by the Parker Autism Foundation and your collaboration with the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation.
We were expecting to have a very minimalistic Christmas but thanks to the the help we received from both Foundations, we were able to get gifts for our four kids that made their eyes light up and put big smiles on their faces - and of course tears of happiness in our eyes.
My family and I would like to thank you, the Parker Autism Foundation, and also the Dilworth United Methodist Church for making this Christmas special. I wish everyone could have been in the room to see Charles' eyes light up when he saw the beautiful bike so generously donated by the church. The other kids were equally excited by their new clothes and toys. Please let the church sponsors know that their generosity was much appreciated.
We hope that one day we are in a position to "pay it forward" to others in the manner that others gave to us this past Christmas. We will do what we can to extend similar kindness to strangers whenever we have the opportunity to do so.
My husband Todd and I moved our family to the Charlotte area about a year and a half ago from a Washington D.C. suburb in Northern VA. Our main reason for relocating was to move closer to my sister and Todd's brother. We were alone in VA, exhausted and frustrated trying to meet the demands of our 4 year old son with autism and our younger son, a toddler at the time. We needed some support and relief, and that is just what we found when we moved here.
What we didn't anticipate, however, is the 50% salary cut from what Todd had been earning in D.C... By spring of 2006 we found ourselves scrambling to come up with the money to send Aidan to ABC school, a speech camp, since the school system would not provide summer help for him the way our old school system had. Aidan had shown regression over long breaks from school in the past, and watching your child step backwards developmentally is heartbreaking. We knew a whole summer without therapy and structure would spell trouble for Aidan. But at the time, just paying the bills was a challenge and it became clear we would not be able to afford the speech camp.
That is when I heard about the Parker Autism Foundation. We applied and Aidan was granted a full scholarship to attend ABC school. A wonderful speech therapist worked with Aidan daily and he began what Todd and I refer to as his "language boom". It was as if something clicked for him at ABC school, and we started to hear full sentences from him and his echolalia decreased dramatically. I believe that last summer was a crucial time for Aidan, and thanks to the Parker Autism Foundation, he showed some amazing progress. We continue to be so grateful to the folks at Parker Autism Foundation for doing for Aidan what we simply could not at that time.
This scholarship meant that my son Christopher was able to attend Speech Garden speech therapy camp for 4 weeks. If it was not for your assistance, he would not have been able to, because I am a single Mom with 2 boys. Christopher has autism and Steven is speech delayed. Both attended the camp. I noticed a huge difference in his speech and social skills ability after that camp.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you very much for allowing me to attend the conference this past weekend free-of charge. The knowledge I gained is invaluable; it allows me to advocate, understand, and provide for my child on a new level. Every session I attended was interesting and taught information that is- or will soon be- relevant for us every day. Your conference allowed me to meet other parents & professionals with great ideas…It showed me that autism is NOT “the end of the world.”
"I was thrilled
to receive a scholarship from the Parker Autism Foundation.
I have seen first hand the benefit of ABA therapy,
but have never been able to afford it for my son.
I feel like he is like a beautifully wrapped present.
There are many gifts and talents hidden inside, waiting
to be opened. The chance for him to be unwrapped
lies in the ABA therapy sessions, and only then will
we see what gifts he has to offer."