Emily and Katie's Chance

These are our two beautiful girls, Emily and Katie and they have severe autism disorder level 3, needing very substantial support. Emily is 12 and Katie is 10 years old. They have great difficulty with language and communication. They have sensory processing disorder, ADHD, PICA and anxiety. They have self stimulatory behaviors (such as spinning eyeglasses), they script, have echolalia, they are self injurous behaviors (such as hitting themselves when they can't express themselves) and tantrums.
             They are very dependent on their parents to take care of them, from brushing their teeth to putting on their clothes. They can't take the sound of loud noises such as a baby crying or a dog barking (often they scream). I try to take them places and get them involved, but they would much rather stay home. They have difficulty in sleeping, my husband would work nights and often find these girls awake. Sleeping disorders are often associated with autism.
              They have difficulty maintaining and making friendships. They are socially disconnected. One year a boy in Emily's school dared another boy to kiss her, she had no idea. They have no concept of privacy,  They will take off their clothes infront of a window or even if I have a guest over my house. They have no concept of danger or consequences. Last year Katie broke her arm at school, she had no fear of jumping off something that is too high.
              They do not speak in full sentences, maybe 4 to 5 word utterances. And at times I am not sure if they understand what I am saying to them (particularly with the word "why"). They tend to think in pictures and often I leave pictures around my house to help them understand. Their interests might include watching tantrums on Youtube or Barney/power ranger songs. They seem to be much younger than they appear.
               Being parents to Emily and Katie is such a blessing. But having two girls with autism is very challenging. I would cry to my husband about the future of these girls. My husband and I try to be private about the level of their behaviors, we wouldn't want to worry anyone. Fear of being misunderstood because they have this problem. Believe me there have been many times these girls have had fall to the floor tantrums and I would look around and wonder if anyone would realize they had a hard time expressing themselves.
                We consulted with our doctors and educational expert and they have recommended ABA intensive teaching and theraputic services. They cannot read effectively (reading on a 1st grade level for both) or conversate effectively. But with ABA therapy and a theraputic school, they could reach their goals.
                  So we wanted to make a difference in our daughters' lives and try to change their stars by getting them the help they need. So we placed Emily in a theraputic school for children with autism. She now gets equine therapy, art therapy and is learning social skills. We see such a positive difference , we are thankful. We would like Katie to have the opportunity to seek a theraputic school with ABA therapy.
              Unfortunately we are in dire need of funds and have exhausted most of our savings to cover legal and school fees. We will use this money for the cost of tuition, lawyer fees, therapy, doctors, educational consultant, professional services and materials. So we are putting our feelings of privacy aside and realizing the importance of saving our two girls. We are putting our story out there hoping that good people can help us break the red tape of due process that so many parents face with children with special needs and help our girls.
               Please forward this fundraiser to all you know who may be able to help, even pocket change is appreciated. If you are unable to contribute, prayers are very much appreciated. Thanks for your support!                                  Kerry, Frank, Emily and Katie
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Kerry Moffitt Stankevicius 
Massapequa, NY
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