Dylan's Autism Treatment Program
In January 2016 after being evaluated, our son recieved the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With that diagnosis came many uncertainties and questions. Like most families with children on the autism spectrum, we began a series of different therapies, classes and treatment protocols such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA).
After many discussions, trials and tribulations with the aforementioned treatments, my wife and I weren't satisfied or pleased with the approach of certain aspects of Dylan's therapies.
Thankfully around this difficult time, we were fortunate to stumble upon a movie by the name of "Son-Rise." Based upon a true story, the movie was about this family in the early 1970's who had a son diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic. Going against the era's current medical recommendations of institutionalization for people affected by autism, the parents developed an at-home treatment program for their son which would become the basis of the Son-Rise Program®.
After implementing their "experimental" program for approximately 3 years, the parents were able to completely reverse their son's autism, going from a "mute, withdrawn child with an IQ less than 30 into a highly verbal, socially interactive youngster with a near-genius IQ." The boy eventually grew up, graduated high school, went on to and graduated from an Ivy League university, later becoming the president of the Autism Treatment Center of America (ATCA).
The ATCA (located in Sheffield, MA) provides the Son-Rise Program®. There are 4, five-day long trainings associated with the program. In early August, my wife and I traveled to Massachusetts to take part in the introductory program called the Son-Rise Start-Up Program. After going through the Start-Up, my wife and I both felt this was what was missing from Dylan's previous therapies and treatments. Before leaving, we made intentions and put a small down-payment on the subsquent training programs with hopes of completing them as soon as possible.
Upon returning home, we started implementing some of the strategies learned from the Start-Up Program. I'm thankful to say that we've already seen some progress in Dylan's social skills and interactivity.
This brings us to present day and the reason my family and I are asking for your generosity and support. Of the 4, five-day long programs offered by the ATCA, the most effective program is the Son-Rise Program® Intensive. During this program, we would be able to take Dylan to the ATCA and have him work with elite specialists in a one-on-one interactive training environment. The list of benefits are far too many to be listed here. Over 90% of parents who've had their children participate in the Intensive have reported increases in their child's use of language, attention span and eye contact. Amazing!!!
As you would imagine, this isn't cheap. Because the ATCA is a non-profit organization, they are unable to accept health insurance as a source of payment. Therefore, our only option for generating the funds necessary to participate in these training programs is to pay out-of-pocket.
The Son-Rise Program® Intensive alone costs over $18,000. When the cost of the other 2 programs (Son-Rise New Frontiers and Maximum Impact) are included with the cost of the Intensive, the total cost tops more than $25,000.
Our primary intention with the funds generated on GoFundMe would be to pay for Dylan's Intensive Program. If we happen to become extremely fortunate and exceed the funds required for the Intensive, we would apply the additional funds towards our participation in the other two, critically-important trainings provided by the ATCA (Son-Rise New Frontiers and Maximum Impact).
We would love to generate the funds necessary ASAP, but definitely by late spring or early summer of 2017, as we hope to take Dylan to the ATCA in late July or early August 2017. The completion of the payments would need to be about a month before the Intensive Program.
Words cannot express our level of gratitude with your generous donations. Thankful would truly be an understatement. Your generosity would allow our beloved son to experience the best treatment available. We would be forever in your debts. Thank you so much for your time and contributions!
Over the course of the 5 days, Dylan improved in many areas. Regarding verbal communication, he was able to communicate around 25 words! I still get a little emotional just thinking about it two weeks later. Additionally, he showed improvements with his non-verbal communication, interactive attention span and flexibility (i.e. sense of spontaneity, less rigidity in situations that aren't predictable).
Since returning home, we've been doing our best to continue helping Dylan progress. As you could imagine, it's been a bit harder with the transition process after leaving the ATCA which, in my opinion, is the optimal environment. But, now that we know what is possible, we'll do whatever it takes to "get the job done" at home.
Currently, my wife and I are developing Dylan's home-based Son-Rise Program. A significant part of any Son-Rise Program is the reliance and utilization of Volunteers. If you or someone you know live in the Clemson/Pendleton/Anderson SC area and would like to know more about volunteering, send my wife, Sara, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We think it's a wonderful opportunity, not only because it'll help our special guy, but also with the training we'll be providing the volunteers in areas of personal and professional development.
In the future, we'd be absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take Dylan back to the ATCA, considering how well everything went a few weeks ago! My hope is that we'll be able to have Dylan spend time with those great people at the ATCA at least once every 18-24 months in order to get optimal feedback along with updated strategies/techniques for his current stage of development. So, with that being said, we'll continue to keep his GoFundMe campaign active for those of you who feel generous enough contribute.
Before I finish the update, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who contributed to Dylan's GoFundMe. We're truly blessed to have you wonderful folks in our lives! I'll be sure to keep you all posted on Dylan's progress. I'll leave you all with one of my favorite quotes by the late Zig Ziglar. "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want." Much love and have a great day!!! ~Brent
I am Brent's sister and Sara's sister-n-law and that sweet baby Dylan's aunt!!! I just wanted to tell each of you how much we appreciate you helping them to reach their goal so that Dylan has so many more opportunities in his life!!! It means the world to us!!! He is a precious gift from God!!!