Eamon is a creative 10 year old boy who loves trains, video games, biking, reading, and drawing. Despite being a generally happy child with a wildly creative imagination, within the past several months we have seen Eamon develop acute, prolonged behavioral issues at school that have significantly impacted his ability to access the curriculum within the general classroom environment.
You see, Eamon has a multiple diagnosis of ASD, ADHD, ARFID and general anxiety disorder which make it difficult for him to work within his existing classroom environment. Increasing in the past several months, his disabilites manifest themselves at school in rigid, non-compliant, sometimes aggressive/violent behaviors, bolting, general food avoidance and reluctance towards eating, issues with executive functioning, and avoidance of group activities. What makes things even better is that he is super high functioning, which requires the types of interventions to be much more specific and fine-tuned.
Our family has sacrificed time, sleep and our general emotional well-being to work dilligently to obtain the supports we feel would help Eamon overcome and develop coping and communication strategies for these types of issues at home. Lately we have been working with the school on implementing adequate services to support Eamon there as well. Though we knew in the early stages of working with the school system the value that a special ed advocate would bring to the table, it's also extremely expensive and potentially open-ended, which has made it cost-prohibitive for our family of six living on single source income. Instead, we have had to become his advocate, his experts, which we have discovered requires a ridiculous level of committment, dedication, persistance and what we're otherwise lacking - expertise. It's also extremely taxing on parents who are doing the best they can to be good parents to three other children and keep a roof over own heads. We don't wish this on anyone; we did it because it needed to be done.
But we're at the stage now where Eamon's educational success is critical on our ability to obtain a qualified advocate. It's extremely maddening when something as crucial as obtaining the right learning environment is directly dependent on a family's ability to afford it, and sacrificing one also means sacrificing the other. I truly wish we were able to do this on our own, independently, but we also need to acknowledge that we have a wonderfully giving community of family in friends that would help us in heartbeat if they knew what we were up against. We are reaching out to that community to ask for support. Please consider helping us by donating to Eamon's Special Education fund, which will be used directly to help us finance an advocate. Any donations remaining after services with an advocate conclude will be donated to an organization that sponsors Autism services and supports within the local community.