Gabrielle Kyranakis is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Aimee Esposito.
As my sister and brother-in-law were filled with incredible emotional distress and have spent the past couple of months sorting out the best treatment for their son, I am compelled to write this letter. To demonstrate the seriousness of Matthew’s diagnoses (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the recent onset of puberty; he was experiencing extreme dysregulation, and we were fearing for his safety and concerned for his future and realized time was running out.
His bright blue-green eyes and his typical appearance confuses people. He needs to be treated and respected as his disability is not physically visible. Matthew has the innate ability to be charismatic, funny, kind and loving, however as he has matured his differences and how he views life has become increasingly distorted. When Matthew is “off,” he is belligerent, aggressive, uncooperative and reckless. They were desperate to find help for their child which they did, and he is getting the best treatment they could find. As a mother, I know too how we will do whatever necessary to help our children, and now we need your help.
Aimee and Frank struggled for years to figure out what is different with Matthew. From one doctor to the next we were told that he needed to play board games to "learn self-control," that he was "just an obnoxious kid" and to "just send this kid away." They were looking for answers and reasons why he acted the way he did. They explored many different parenting angles, read all information available, attended parent groups, took countless advice from countless people and yet nothing seemed to help their son.
After years of doctor visits, family dysfunction and an enormous emotional burden, Matthew was hospitalized at the end of this past October for two weeks. He was spiraling out of control. Eloping for up to 12 hours on end, a child, a minor would disappear for extended periods of times, crossing the most dangerous of roads at night while we helplessly searched endless hours for him. After over a week of waiting for a bed at a hospital whose acuity level was too high to take Matthew his behaviors were getting worse by the minute, we needed to act fast and they drove an hour to the best adolescent acute care facility available. During his hospitalization he had his medications changed, and eventually acclimated to the routine. The next decision for them was met with high anxiety as bringing him home was not an option, since he was fleeing for extended periods of time and his judgment was poor, we all feared for his safety. They were met with defeat as they attempted to get him placed in a residential school, which may not have been successful without massive therapy first.
Left with no other choice they flew him out to Utah to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he now temporarily resides. This has been a tremendous adjustment for not only my 14-year-old nephew but for his siblings as well as his parents. We are anxious as insurance was guaranteed for just one month. It was extended for one week twice and then six days, insurance feels he has been there long enough and today there will be a peer to peer review; Matthew’s Dr. will speak to the Dr. from the insurance company to plead his case. It is unlikely that insurance will cover more time as the success rate is only 10%. This has been a roller coaster of waiting to hear from the insurance company; we are on the edge of our seats as we await a decision for one more day, a few days or possibly a week which could impact the rest of his life - his work has only just begun. This could be the beginning or the end of his treatment as his multi-diagnoses means a more extended length of time is crucial to his success.
Most, if not all, parents with special needs children need to hire an education attorney at some point. The first time they depleted all of their children’s savings and did what they felt they had to do. As you can imagine with everything that has happened, they had to hire another education attorney. Along with the decision to send their young son across the country to another state, to ultimately save him, has been the most difficult decision they've had to make as parents, one that we all feel confident is the correct one. Matthew is making slow progress at the residential treatment center in Utah but again with multiple diagnoses, “time” is what we need to see improvement. We want Matthew to stay as long as the program feels he needs to be there, to be his best self, not what insurance feels necessary. Of course, this comes at a very steep price, the cost of the program is $15,000 a month, financially that is not feasible for their family to carry without help.
I implore you to help me help Matthew so he can be a healthy functioning adult and law-abiding citizen. You have the power to help change his life. No donation is too small.
With much hope and gratitude,