Help Luke find his voice

$26,688 of $22,000 goal

Raised by 199 people in 5 months
Created February 9, 2019
Thank you for taking the time to click the link that brought you here!

Many of you already know us, but for those who don’t, we are Magali Julien and Graeme Phillips. We are the parents of a beautiful, gentle, kind and loving autistic son, Luke, who is nearly four years old. He is our world.

He was diagnosed with moderate/severe autism last year. 

Luke is non-verbal; not toilet trained; and unable to make friends.
He can't express his wants or needs; tell us what makes him happy or sad; or explain if he is hurt or feeling unwell.
He needs constant, regular care and treatment in order to live the fullest life possible now, as a teen, and as an adult.

As you may already be aware, autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which affects a child's ability to communicate, and to socially interact with their environment. Without appropriate intervention, children like our son Luke risk facing adolescence and adulthood without the tools necessary to become contributing members of society.

Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is proven to be the most effective evidence based approach with children on the spectrum. Early intervention is the key to helping kids like Luke bridge the gap, and while it is most effective when children are young and/or under six years old, most require therapy until adulthood in order to navigate through life and to become as autonomous as possible.

In Ontario, it’s true that ABA has a huge waitlist. According to recent audit, 23,000 kids in Ontario are on the waitlist for ABA.

Luke is one of them.
He has already been waiting over a year.

New reforms won’t take effect for another 18 months (if the PCs are true to their word) but this still won’t make a huge difference. Instead of waiting for our turn to get ABA from a public institution, we are now supposed to use the funds allocated to hire a private provider. That’s the problem. 

Here’s some simple math:

•   The cost of full time ABA from a private provider = $8,000/month
•   The cost of Part time ABA = $4,000/month
•   The MINIMUM cost of ABA therapy of 10hrs/week = $2,200/month. This is what we are hoping to provide to Luke.
The new government has planned a lifetime cap of 140K of funding per child. Therefore the therapy at $2200/month wont go far.

•   2-6yr 7800K/annually = $725/month.
•   7-18 yr= 5500/annually = $458/month.

We make just about enough for our basic needs to be covered. So after housing, food, and bills, there just isn’t that much left over to help our son live the fullest life he can.

We need to raise a minimum of $22,000 so we can provide Luke with minimum contractual hours on a private basis for at least a year.
We have found a therapist through a private organization called Beyond the Door . This therapist is willing to work with Luke for 10 hours a week at his day care, and at home on the weekend, so we can learn through her. 
Unfortunately at this time, we only have two months saved for her service.

It makes us cringe to ask for financial support, but this isn’t about us, it is about Luke and his future.

We realize that it is a tough financial time for many of us, and we all struggle to keep our heads above water.  Don’t feel bad for not being able to help monetarily if you can’t, but please help spread the word if you could.  If you are in the position to donate, any amount can help, every dollar counts.

Luke is turning four on Monday. He doesn’t care about gifts or big parties, he only cares about being happy.
To all his family and loved ones, and anyone reading this, please help Luke live his life to the fullest by making a contribution—it is our only birthday wish.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Magali and Graeme

Where will the funds go?
Your generous donations will be transferred to a secured trust fund with the only authorized withdrawls going to Beyond the Door’s ABA therapist for Luke's monthly care.

More on Autism and on the current situation in Ontario:" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"> 

"Shame on You": Parents speak on new Autism funding:
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To all you wonderful humans: I don’t even know where to start. This week has been so overwhelming. “Thank you” doesn’t feel close to enough to describe how grateful, humbled, and thankful we feel by so much love and kindness.

This week has been incredibly emotional - to be fully honest, we never expected to reach our goal, and were just hoping for anything that could make a difference for Luke.

Thanks to all of you, Luke now has funding for a solid year of ABA intensive behavioural therapy for 10 hours a week.
YOU all have sacrificed something from your budget, paycheque, savings or credits.
YOU are nothing short of amazing.
YOU have made a huge difference in Luke’s journey ahead.

What will happen to the money you donated?
The funds will be transferred to a secured education fund. The monthly payments will be made to the experienced therapist with Beyond the Door. I will be sending you updates of Luke’s progress via GoFundMe email updates. Stay tuned!

What will happen with the fundraiser?
Thanks to you, we are able to make this early intervention a reality, so Luke will hopefully be able to bridge the gap and transition to a regular school curriculum. That is our hope.

Sadly, Luke’s needs are ongoing and his needs for intensive behavioural therapy unfortunately will be likely long term.
We have therefore decided to leave the fundraiser campaign active and ongoing. Any future donations will be put toward extending Luke’s therapy, and increasing the hours of intensive intervention.

On the day Luke was diagnosed, and as we tried to process what would be our child’s new reality, we were also told to be ready to become Luke’s biggest advocates throughout his life.
It felt very vague at the time, as we had no idea of the challenges and obstacles that would be ahead of Luke’s path.
It never made more sense until now. It’s about being his voice because he cannot use his.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Thank YOU for being Luke’s village.

Magali, Graeme, and Luke’s loving grandparents Jane & David.
+ Read More

$26,688 of $22,000 goal

Raised by 199 people in 5 months
Created February 9, 2019
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