A Walk With James

$1,750 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 11 months
Our journey began when James was only about 4 yrs old. It was becoming clear that he was experiencing some developmental delays. He wasn't responding to simple commands, and it was very difficult for him to express or communicate what he was experiencing or feeling. We began having him tested, and it was quickly identified that he had major auditory and sensory challenges. What does that even mean? If you can imagine, it’s like walking into a room with loud, booming music and strobe lights. Then imagine people trying to talk to you, and ask you questions. That is a lot of what James faces each day. A great deal of noise and static around him, wherever he goes. Over the last 8 years, we have tirelessly tried to find somewhere that understands and has modeled their methods of teaching to help James learn to navigate through the world.

After YEARS of searching and AFTER he attended 4 schools, in 6 years, we found BCA! Bluegrass Center for Autism has been Life Changing for not only James, but our ENTIRE Family! They are truly like no other academic setting I have come across. They accept, embrace, and encourage all the beautiful things that make up James. ABA therapy has been instrumental in helping James work through some of the past trauma's that he has experienced over the years in school, while encouraging him to become the best version of himself. We have achieved more milestones in the last 12 months, than in the 8 years of endless therapies, schools, programs, ect.

This now brings me to "The Ask"....The yearly total for tuition and outsides services for James is roughly $40K. Last year, with some help, combined with literally every dollar that we made, we managed to cover the cost. I am in the process of applying for several grants to help with his tuition, but have been encouraged by many friends and loved ones to share his story. We are committed to go to any length to help him soar, and this fundraiser can insure that happens. We are also in the process of putting an event together in the next few months for everyone to come together to celebrate James in person, but until then, we ask that you help in any way that you can. Please pass this along to anyone and everyone that you know who has been touched by Autism. Or Hasn't! Awareness and sharing of knowledge is something that ALL of us can be part of. I will be posting different stories, videos, and updates every few days, so please check in often! I want you to feel part of his journey and the amazing progress he is making!

The information and the videos below gives some insight to ABA therapy and BCA’s Model, along with parents stories regarding what BCA has meant to their child and their families!

BCA Model :
Teach to Learn. Learn to Live.
Bluegrass Center for Autism’s (BCA) model is an integrated approach which blends Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech-Language Therapy, motor skills training, peer interaction instruction, independent living skills and other individualized programming. We offer a 1:1 child-instructor ratio in most of our teams, resulting in the most intensely individualized programming available.

They understand that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are successful when exposed to multiple opportunities to acquire, master, maintain, and generalize skills within a variety of settings. Our highly structured days deliver a concentrated experience to meet each child’s specific needs and promote his or her learning potential. We use evidence-based treatment to create a therapeutic setting to maximize a child’s ability to communicate, learn, adapt, and be successful.

BCA utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) based techniques individualized to each learner while focusing on the development of communication, functional programming, social skills and life skills. ABA involves the use of objective data to make decisions and determine how well goals are being achieved. The data we collect guides us when a change in programming needs to be made or when a learner is ready to move to a more advanced skill.

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Hello Friends!

We are only a month into school and James is doing AMAZING! He is making significant academic progress at school as well as some INCREDIBLE Milestones in the last several weeks. Working independently in the classroom and incredible progress socially. Through a local organization that works with kids and families with Autism, he has been paired with a young man that goes to Trinity HS in a program called "Best Buddies". The purpose is to help James to learn how to socialize more and be able to do fun things together. On Friday, we went Rock Wall Climbing. This may seem like a pretty simple, run of the mill type of task. For someone like James, it is a huge challenge. The sounds, lights, acoustics, and "energy" that a place like this, would have prevented us from even walking through the door previously. With lots of discussion and "prep work" we put the plan in motion. When I say "prep work", what I mean is informing James of what the place will be like. What different things will be required to climb, such as a harness, different shoes, ect. These may seem like minor things for most kiddos, but for James, it is key for success. His little brain is overloaded on a normal day, so when we 'ambush' him, and I use that word purposefully because after many, painful years of trial and error, we have learned that is how it feels to him. The more we can prepare him for new situations, the more successful he can be. Even the built up excitement of talking about it for a week, can be too much for him. Short conversations of prep, endless questions answered, and we were ready!
We met his Best Buddy on Friday afternoon, and spent TWO HOURS climbing! It was amazing! He did so great, climbed the wall 3 times, and told me when we got in the car, that it was the best day of his life. The tears immediately began running down my face. When you have a special needs child, all you really want for them is to be able to experience what most kids can knock out on a typical Saturday. I never could have imagined a year ago that he would be here today.

I am truly overwhelmed with all the love and support that we have received over the last month. We have raised almost $5k in less than a month! Your compassion and generosity has enabled us to pay for 2 months of his tuition!!!!
There aren't enough thank you's for me to possibly express the gratitude our family has for each and every person that has joined and supported us on the journey of this little angel. Your donations, love and words of encouragement mean more than I can put in to words, so I will start by saying
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$1,750 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 7 people in 11 months
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