As I am still on a high that we are going to have a huge fundrasier for our little man, I am looking for ideas.. different ideas that we will be able to use.. what has worked for fundrasiers and what was horrible and should be avoided at all costs. I like to find inspiration on Autism mom's blogs, and I think I have found my favourite, she is my favourite so much, I think I will read it everyday...because she sounds just like me, so much like me she swears in her blog posts.. she is that honest about her feelings. I love that she is walking with her family for Autism in Toronto, she even had t-shirts made, bright green that say on them, "Team Max"..awesome. Last year she rasied close to $5000! All going to Autism Speaks.. she is amazing.
When reading her blog, I can see how much she is just in love with her two children, Max and Cameron. Max is the big brother, just deemed Autistic when he was 32 months, he is now 5, and his younger sister is Cameron. She made on comment that I really have to relate to when it comes to having the older sibling being Autistic and the younger not, that just like Cameron, Maddie doesnt look at Owen and see Autism, she just sees Owen. I love it.
I related to this mom so much, her and her husband have Max in IBI as well, the therapy is at a centre called, BlueBallon, and last year it cost their family close to $52,000.00, and had no help...they make too much to have any kind of assistance from the government, and Max will not be able to get any kind of funding for another year, 2011... If Owen is deemed qualified for funding from Behtesda, we wil not be able to get him in there until minimum 2012.. seriously.
I found her blog about this issue so true and right to the point.. I want to post it here.. I hope she doesn't mind.. and my goal now is to get in touch with her.. we have so much in common.. I would love for Max and Owen to meet.
The Cost of Autism Therapy, The Price of Hope
Ever the procrastinator, I left getting our tax paperwork together until this past Friday. For my friends south of the border, the tax deadline isn't until April 30th in Canada (my birthday - yay for me! happy effing birthday!). It isn't quite as simple as telling "the man" how much I made this past year and how much money they have already eeked out of my already small pay cheque. Now that we have kids there are daycare costs to submit. Now that we have a child with what is defined as a "disability" we have therapy costs to submit as well.
We spent $52,041 on Max's therapy in 2009. If that made you gasp, picture me breaking a sweat, feeling dizzy and lightheaded and trying to convince myself that the chest pains I was experiencing upon adding up the pile of invoices on my kitchen table were merely symptoms of an anxiety attack and not my heart giving out on me. The Canadian government (be it Federal or Provincial) did not contribute one dime to Max's Autism Therapy last year. Not one. His name will not reach the top of the wait list for funding until at the very earliest, summer of 2011. He will be over 5 years old at that point. In case you didn't know, the key window to treat children with Autism are the years between the ages of 2 and 5. Yes, once again, government at its finest.
At the very least, we have to come up with another $50,000 to $60,000 to get Max the therapy he will need in this next key year of his development. I have no idea where this money will come from. I have decided to cancel my trip to the BlogHer convention (what the hell was I thinking anyway? lol...), and I am hoping we get a decent tax return. I am planting money trees in our backyard. I am praying. I am contemplating how badly I really need both my kidneys. I am looking at my beautiful boy Max, knowing that I have to figure this out, because he is my everything and I will not sleep at night if he is not getting the therapy he needs to have the best chance at a wonderful life, when he needs it in these key early years. I will not fail my son, even when the Canadian Government, The Provincial Government, our Premier, and MPP have dropped the ball for all children and families suffering from Autism. It's too bad they seem to have zero foresight on how much it will cost to support these children when they are adults with Autism, unable to support themselves and requiring round the clock care for the duration of their lives. When will they ever learn. When will they ever learn.