Laurence is our second of two beautiful daughters. We are currently evaluating her for autism. Around her first birthday, we noticed that Laurence wasn't hitting some important milestones. We also noticed some regressions in her development. She used to say ''mama'' and ''papa''. She used to notice when we left the room. She used to look at us continuously intrigued by what we were doing. When she was 12/13 months old, she stopped babbling, she stopped looking at us, and she stopped playing with us. We brought her in to see our family doctor and finally got an appointment with a pediatrician but it isn't until February. That's when we decided to go private. We found a great charitable organization called Quickstart Autism - Early Intervention For Autism.
Their mission is to assist children in reaching their full potential by helping the children obtain early intervention at the first signs of autism. Being a part of the Quickstart program opened us some doors. It got us to skip a few waiting lists. We are currently working with a psychologist that is evaluating Laurence. Not everyone will diagnose a child that young. It was quite hard to find a psychologist. The thing with autism is that the earlier the intervention, the better. We immediately started intervention with a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. Both noticed that Laurence had balance and core issues which led us to some physiotherapy sessions.
The psychologist, the speech therapy and the physiotherapy are luckily partially covered with our insurances. However, our insurances will cover these services for about only a month. Occupational therapy is not covered and can become quite expensive. Also, Laurence will eventually need ABA (applied behaviour analysis) intervention. ABA is a scientific approach to understanding and teaching socially significant behaviours. ABA is used to teach communication, develop cognitive skills, address academic progress, teach appropriate behaviours, self-regulation, and social skills.
These ABA sessions will take place at an in-clinic therapy center. They last 4 months and we are hoping to get Laurence in 3-5 times a week. The cost for these sessions are 65$ an hour. Sessions last 3.5 hours. Unfortunately, none of it is covered in Ontario.
3-5 sessions per week for a month will cost 2730$-4550$. That is 10 920$ - 18 200$ for the 4-month program. Just looking at these numbers is causing me a great deal of anxiety. ABA therapy is very helpful at a young age and as a long-term intervention option (1-3 years).
We are asking our families and friends to help us. You can help us by sharing our GoFundMe Page or by donating to help Laurence receive the best intervention possible.
- Ellie Durand
- Kim Catalfamo
- Jeff Orser
- Dominique Milot
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