My daughter Samantha was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Chances are you have heard of Autism or know someone who has been affected by it. For those of you who don’t know, Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how information is processed in the brain. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it affects each person in different ways. This disorder can range from mild to severe.
At 25 months old, Samantha was nonverbal. Samantha is currently enrolled in a learning achievement class at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD. She is also seeing a Speech Therapist and an Occupational Therapist. At 31 months, Samantha is starting to find her words! There is no way of knowing what Samantha’s future may be, but we are desperately trying to fulfill her recommended needs. It is very heartbreaking to watch as your child suffers from something that should come so easy for most people, everyday things that you and I may take for granted, Sam has to fight threw and it is not always pretty. She has had some epic failures and great triumphs but continues to thrive with a very rigorous schedule and working with professionals in the field of Autism. The smallest change in her routine or schedule, something as simple as cutting her food in half or driving a different way to school, can
send her into a complete panic resulting in a self-injurious meltdown.
Unfortunately there is no cure for Autism. This is a journey Samantha will travel for the rest of her life, but with your help, her future will not be set in stone. Early detection and early intervention are very important as certain developmental skills must be learned during critical periods of the brains development. Once this window has closed, some things may not be able to be learned. Advances in treatments continue to be made every day and these therapies are crucial for the development of young children especially, giving them a chance for a future with less limitations.
Sadly, insurance companies in certain states are not required to cover Autism related treatment and therapies, and it is a very expensive journey ranging from ($25,000-$75,000 a year).
Despite the challenges that we face every day and the expenses, we are committed to continue providing Samantha with every opportunity that will help change her life and better her future.
Please keep Samantha in your thoughts and prayers! If you have anything to give no matter the amount, it will help, I promise!
Thanks and love to you ALL!