Help Save The Autism Center!

$4,025 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 1 month
Created January 11, 2018
Nicole Ritz
on behalf of Michelle Meaney-Demarsh
I'm a parent of a child with autism.

My son used to have some severe sensory issues. He was non-verbal. We were unable to brush his hair. Brushing his teeth was a two-person job because his mouth was so sensitive. He rarely slept through the night. He was social, but his inability to communicate meant that making friends was difficult. He was prone to tantrums because he'd become increasingly frustrated due to his lack of communication skills. 

My mother referred me to the Pennsylvania Autism Action Center. After an evaluation, Stephen was diagnosed with autism. While we waited for our insurance to kick in, the staff immediately enrolled him in speech and occupational therapy. Before the first month was over, Stephen was starting to speak. As soon as we were able to schedule the ABA services, Stephen's sensory issues became addressed. 

26893208_15157102420_r.jpeg

He's been attending the autism center for two years now, and the difference is night and day.  Stephen can now brush his hair and teeth with no issues. He dresses himself.  He can communicate clearly, and tantrums are non-existent. He's developed friendships and now attends a normal Pre-K with the assistance of a member of the autism center staff. Each day he blossoms a bit more, and I'm confident he'll have a bright and successful future. 

26893208_15157102090_r.jpeg

I'm expecting my second child, and the chances of this child also being autistic are heightened. I had no fear of what this would mean because of this institution. Sadly, the autism center is approaching bankruptcy. Many of the clients left to attend school and are doing so well, they no longer need the services. While this is wonderful, it's critical that the center remain open. 

The dedicated staff form bonds with the children that are invaluable. They offer speech, occupational and sensory therapy that aren't found anywhere else in the area. There are currently 200 clients attending the center, 40 of which are young children. If the center goes under, these children and adolescents are left without vital services. 

As well as autism services, the center also takes the children on field trips, offers teen mixers and day care services so that parents can have a few hours to themselves. They give parents the chance to connect with one another, and can refer us to outside services such as autism-friendly hair stylists and dentists for our children. 

26893208_15157103640_r.jpeg

Parenting a special-needs child can be challenging, but with people as dedicated and passionate as this staff, it's been tremendously easier. They've helped my son to thrive and find his voice, and for me to find a way to better connect with him. I ask as a mother and a member of this community that you please donate or share this link.  The loss of this place and of these wonderful people would be devastating to the many families who have come to rely on them.
+ Read More
Guys, WE DID IT!!! The center needed about $4k to get through the next few weeks and we hit that goal!

I honestly didn’t expect anything when I created this. I didn’t expect donations. I didn’t expect media coverage. I didn’t expect anyone to care. I don’t hear autism spoken about much, and certainly not the autism center. So to receive this amount of support has been humbling and heartwarming. Thank you all who donated, spread the word, shared the link, etc. thank you so much for taking the time to care. I’m forever grateful. ❤️
+ Read More
We’re $50 away from the goal!!! That’s amazing you guys!! Please share, spread the word, whatever you can. Thank you!!!!
+ Read More
Guys!!! We’re $170 dollars away!!!! Please share, donate, spread the word! This is amazing!!!
+ Read More
Guys!!! We’re $370 away from what the center needs to remain open! We’re so close! Please, please, please share the link, spread the word or donate. You guys have been absolutely incredible. I lack the words to describe how grateful we are. ❤️
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$4,025 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 1 month
Created January 11, 2018
Nicole Ritz
on behalf of Michelle Meaney-Demarsh
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
$25
Holly Bander
11 days ago
TS
$50
Thomas Swink
24 days ago
$60
Jen Flower
24 days ago
TS
$50
Tom Stone
24 days ago
BD
$10
Betty DiDario
26 days ago
SD
$100
Stephanie Decker
26 days ago
AV
$100
Alyse Voulo
27 days ago
GS
$500
Greg Steinberg
27 days ago
MO
$100
Mike O’Connell
28 days ago
TC
$30
TPN com
28 days ago
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.