Help Ethan Girard overcome Autism

For: Ethan Girard
Toronto, ON, Canada
Organizer: Sherrill Girard
$5,152
of $15,000 goal.
Raised by 45 donors
34% Complete
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The Story

NOTE: With your donation, the contribution to youcaring.com is OPTIONAL, you can edit the amount to $0 if you wish to.

Ethan would love to say “I love you” to his Mommy and Daddy, but he can’t. 

Ethan has Autism. 

Our beautiful grandson Ethan, almost 4 years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in May, 2014. Ethan was placed on the waiting list for IBI (Intensive Behavioural Intervention), and ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) to receive these proven therapies. 14 months later we are is still waiting for funding. 

Ethan is a loving, bright and charming little boy with an infectious laugh and an engaging smile. But he is reserved, isolated and withdrawn with strangers and within a group. 

The first 3 years of life - when the brain is developing and maturing - are the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. Ethan is now almost 4. With the right therapies he could catch up in his communication.

Ethan was delayed in reaching many of his milestones: sitting up and crawling late, walking late, feeding himself, and as the months rolled by we realized he was falling behind toddlers his own age. And yet he also seemed to be so intensely engaged and focussed with certain activities, you could tell a lot was going on in his little mind. He seemed to be intensely aware of everything around him. 

One day, after years of his parents reading and counting with him, he picked up his number puzzles and just started putting them in order by himself. He had been quietly watching and listening all along, then just after 2 years old he started doing it himself. He sorts and sequences objects with skills and ability beyond his age group. 

And yet, he had no words to express himself, although he has constantly talked to himself in his own “language” since he was a baby. 

Recently Ethan’s parents decided to obtain private IBI at $65 a session, for 3 sessions of IBI per week. That’s almost $900 a month! The minimum recommended programming is 20 -25 hours per week, at a cost of $2080 a month, almost $25,000 a year.

But even these few hours of therapy a week have made an enormous difference for Ethan! The results were immediate and impressive! He has started by acquiring a few words such as “boy”, “hurray”, “juice”, “light” and he is now saying "bubbles",  "apple", “giraffe”, “zebra”, "cookie" and a few other words spontaneously. His eye contact has noticeably improved, he points and gestures spontaneously, and is far more comfortable and interactive with other adults. 

Ethan is on the waiting list in the Cambridge Ontario area for government funding for IBI, but the waiting list is long and there is no sign that he may be accepted soon.

Unfortunately private therapy is extremely costly, and his young mom and dad are going further into debt to pay for the therapy, and are at their breaking point. I am reaching out to my friends, family and contacts to help continue Ethan’s therapy and help him continue to achieve. He has made so much progress, it would break our hearts to see him slip back. Unfortunately the Ontario Government has allocated limited funds to helping developing toddlers and children with ASD, leaving most to fund their own therapies.
Any donation no matter how small will help Ethan in his progress. All monies donated will be directed to Ethan's IBI therapy and ABA, and if by some miracle there is extra, to other therapies in the future he may need.

Please find it in your heart to ease this enormous financial and emotional burden by donating to Ethan's therapy: no amount is too small.

If you can even just share this with your friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, anything will help! Every little bit is appreciated! 

We have set up a Facebook page for fundraising for Ethan's therapy at https://www.facebook.com/HelpEthanOvercomeAutism

and to check Ethan's progress in IBI therapy, check in on my blog at
Help Ethan Overcome Autism Blogspot

More information for IBI and ABA therapies can be found at the website for the Geneva Centre for Autism the World leader in the study and treatment of Autism. 
http://goo.gl/NIYIRf  

Thank you so much for donating and sharing!  

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 14, 2016

Posted on March 14, 2016

NOTE: With your donation, the contribution to youcaring.com is OPTIONAL, you can edit the amount to $0 if you wish to.

Our wonderful grandson Ethan is now 4 1/2 years old, and has made incredible progress in Speech and Language, Communication, socialization from receiving Intensive Behaviour Therapy, paid for by your generous donations!  I can't thank you enough, and now, Ethan can thank you personally!

Ethan has made great strides in his language development, has learned hundreds if not thousands of words, and strings them together in short sentences.  He is able to communicate many of his needs now, mostly using speech and language. 
He prefers to talk rather than using signing, pictures, or other alternative and augmentative communication, and speech seems to be the direction of his development in communicating. He loves using an iPad and can navigate the screen finding his way to Netflix and Youtube, finding his favourite movies and games.  

Ethan also has made excellent progress in his physical skills, gross and fine motor skills, and coordination.  Last summer Grandma and Grandpa gave him a red tricycle (his favourite colour) and he picked it up right away.  Dad then got a great little bike with training wheels for him, and he made the transition with a bit of encouragement (and guidance) from Dad!

Ethan is a natural swimmer, he loves swimming, and his instructors have told us he is one of the best swimmers in his class! We enrolled Ethan in swimming lessons in March of last year, and over the year he developed skills such as emerging his face in the water, blowing bubbles, floating on his back and front, and kicking.  He is working on swimming strokes using his arms, with the help of his one-on-one Special Needs Support Worker provided by the City of Brampton!  (Thank you, Brampton!)

Ethan has graduated into the next level, and will be starting Little Splash 2 with his peers, on April 2nd.  We are also planning on enrolling him in some other classes that time allows, such as skating, and summer camp for a few weeks, which will also include swimming, sports and horseback riding.

Ethan's Dad, along with Grandpa and Grandma, are attending workshops in both Toilet Training, and Behaviour Management for Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and Ethan has had a number of successes in his toilet training to date.

Ethan comes from a family of musicians and artists, and has a natural propensity towards music, loves to play his little red ukelele, accordion, guitar and xylophone.  He enjoys listening to his Grandpa, Uncles and Aunts, Great Auntie and Uncle (professional musicians) as well as many other family members, and tries to get in on the action!  He sings his little songs and dances, and during our last session he got up and tried to play the piano with the band!  We are hoping to get some music lessons and music therapy for him, that is a bit beyond our budget at the moment, but soon!

Currently Ethan is still on the waiting list for funding his Intensive Behaviour Therapy and other programs.  We were told the wait is now up to 2 YEARS!  We are still funding his private IBI through donations from his YouCaring fund, and Grandma, Grandpa and Ethan's Dad are funding his swimming and summer activities.

We still need all the help we can get, although the funding has been very generous, we only have a few months of funds left.  Once Ethan finishes this year, he will be in school full time with no Special Needs Programming in school.  Ethan's Mom doesn't drive, so if we are to continue IBI we also require funding for transportation to and from IBI.  

Keep checking in with the YouCaring website, I will be posting updates as they come in.

Any donation no matter how small will help Ethan in his progress. All monies donated will be directed to Ethan's IBI therapy and ABA, and if by some miracle there is extra, to other therapies in the future he may need.

Please find it in your heart to ease this enormous financial and emotional burden by donating to Ethan's therapy: no amount is too small.

If you can even just share this with your friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, anything will help! Every little bit is appreciated! 

We have set up a Facebook page for fundraising for Ethan's therapy at https://www.facebook.com/HelpEthanOvercomeAutism

and to check Ethan's progress in IBI therapy, check in on my blog at 
Help Ethan Overcome Autism Blogspot

More information for IBI and ABA therapies can be found at the website for the Geneva Centre for Autism the World leader in the study and treatment of Autism. 
http://goo.gl/NIYIRf  

Thank you so much for donating and sharing!  

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