Our son, Elias, age 12, has recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1, formally known as Aspergers. Also diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety, Elias is a great kid, very smart with a big heart; unfortunately, he has always had "behavioral issues". He has difficulty making friends, getting along with others, and understanding when whatever he is doing has become annoying and needs to stop. He is unable to pick up on social queues or read body language; he takes things very literally, failing to understand irony, sarcasm, and many other jokes and child-like playing, however, he has a good sense of humor, but it is often misunderstood; and he doesn't understand when other kids are simply "messing" with him and when they are being serious or mean. This lack of social skills is from ASD. Consequently, he is viewed as different and faces bullying and loneliness which makes life as a pre-teen even more difficult.
The public school system is not equipped to give him the help he needs to florish. He is a very smart child, but the social issues continue to cause more and more disruption in his school environment and performance. In order to help him learn the social skills he needs to become a productive, employable, happy, well-adjusted adult, we feel it is necessary to place him in an environment with other kids like him, where his differences are not a hindrance and where he can excell to his fullest potential. Age 12 is very late to be diagnosed with ASD as early intervention is heavily stressed, but due to his "high-functioning" he has slipped through the system. This year, at our request, his school tested him for ASD but they failed to see the social side of his condition and he didn't qualify for assistance for ASD. We believe it is imperative that we get him help as soon as possible and plan to enroll him in a school which specializes in kids like him this fall (2017). The closest schools are in the Dallas area and will require a move. Luckily, we have an RV in which Elias and I can stay during the week and return home on the weekends until our house is sold, however, that adds additional expenses.
Although we have a modest college fund (or now known as tuition fund), we are not prepared to pay the $18,000-$22,000 a year tuition, plus uniforms and enrollment fees that will be required but will feel it's imperative to get him help as soon as possible. With God's help we will make it happen.
We ask that you pray for us as a family and specifically for Elias.
Please pray that we will find scholarships or grants that we will qualify for and receive. Pray for God's guidance and protection as we face this move, and the situation in general. And please pray for me, that God will relieve my mental anguish and anxiety to allow me to be able to work again and to find a job that will allow me to contribute to the family's budget. If God leads you to donate, it would be appreciated. But, we covet your prayers the most.
We also ask for prayers in choosing the right school for Elias and our family. There are two very good schools, The Saint Anthony's Therapeutic School in Carrollton and Great Lakes Academy in Plano, that we are considering, each has their benefits and drawbacks.
Thank you for your prayers and any contribution you decide to make.
- Pam Miller
- Brenda Mcillwain-Kale
- Greg Nance
- Doug Griffin
- Butch Mcillwain
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