Walking for Autism Therapies

Hello, I am Nechole Whitlock.  On Sunday April 27th thru Tuesday April 29th, I will be walking 68 miles in 68 hours at Grapevine Mills Mall, to raise money for my sons (Nicholas and Tony) therapies and treatments.  I chose 68 miles, since 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism per the CDC's March 27th announcement.  The previous autism statistic was 1 in 88, so last April I walked 88 miles in 88 hours.  Please consider supporting us by donating $1 for every mile I walk ($68 for 68 miles).

Meet my Boys (my little heroes): 
Nicholas is 7yrs old and he is autistic.  He was diagnosed at 2yrs old.  In addition to autism, he has digestive and sleep issues, prone to seizures, sensory challenges, and delayed speech development.  He's experienced many wonderful breakthroughs in the past 3yrs due to all the therapies and treatments he's received over the past five years.  Some of those therapies include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and ABA Therapy which costs exceed $8,000 per year (with and without insurance deductibles, in and out of network).  Additional treatments that have positively affected him include; a gluten free / casein free / low salicylate / organic diet, supplements, and alternative therapies.  Those costs have exceeded $25,000 per year.  And I regularly spend $2,000-$4,000 per year on our living modifications.  

Tony is 8yrs old and he has delayed processing, center auditory processing disorder (CAPD), plus sensory, speech and social challenges - he is receiving Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  Last year he was evaluated and received his CAPD diagnosis, thanks to donations received last April - THANK YOU!   He continues to struggle academically, so I am exploring tutoring or brain training programs to help strengthen his reading comprehension and math skills.  

Cost of Autism:  I personally pay a "helping angel" who has cared for and blessed both boys over the past five years (she is amazing).  The annual cost I've personally spent on their care, accommodations, treatment and therapies exceeded $42,000 in 2011, exceeded $52,000 in 2012, and exceeded $57,000 in 2013 ($5,000 went to summer programs for both boys).  I anticipate I will personally spend more than $65,000 in 2014.  To cover all the expenses plus in and out of network insurance deductibles ($6k/$14k), I have consistently worked 2-3 jobs at once.  This year, I am walking in April to help raise some of the money we will need in 2014.  Please support us by donating $1 for every mile I walk ($68 for 68 miles) via this page.  Of the donations received, $5,000 will go towards our summer programs and $5,000 will go towards our therapies.  It is estimated that if families pursued all the therapies and treatments that could help their autistic children, they could easily spend more than $60,000 per year (cost stories:http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/02/pf/autism/index.htm,   http://gma.yahoo.com/autism-bankrupts-families-emotionally-financially-022815106--abc-news-health.html). 

About Autism:  1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls).  Per a 3/20/2013, CDC parent survey the numbers are more like 1 in 50 children 6-17 years of age (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf).  This is more than children affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome - combined.   A child is diagnosed with autism every 15 minutes.  To learn more about autism, please feel free to check out:  http://www.autismspeaks.org/,  http://www.autism-society.org/, http://nationalautismassociation.org/,  http://www.autismone.org/,  http://www.tacanow.org/ 

Watch Nicholas' 2011 Autism Speaks walk video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCmLvq8i-aE. 

Thank you so much for your support, prayers, and consideration.  Feel free to contact me anytime, (469) [phone redacted] or private message me via Facebook.  Check out my Facebook page for regular updates. 

Blessings on you -  Nechole Whitlock

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Nechole Whitlock 
Frisco, TX
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