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

The Story

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

Wonderful news!

Ethan, now almost 6, is speaking quite a bit, he has made some significant progress is his Speech and Language skills, and Ethan can now say “I love you” to his Dad, Mom, and of course, his Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles!

Ethan’s life (and ours as well) has gone through significant changes in the past year, and he has made incredible progress in so many areas!

Since we began this YouCaring fundraiser, and thanks to each and every one of you, Ethan was receiving Autism Therapy and made some remarkable progress in many areas.  Ethan also made a lot of gains in other areas such as Communication skills, Gross and Fine Motor Skills, eye contact, letters, counting and number skills.  

In the summer 2016, as there was no funding left to continue ABA and Autism therapy, he no longer attended his ABA sessions, and progress in these areas slowed down somewhat.

In April 2017, due to some unfortunate circumstances, Ethan began living with his Dad, where he is currently residing.  He loves his new room, his new school, and the new house.  He is still receiving care from his Autism Support Worker, who has worked with him for 3 years.

Ethan adjusted very well to these changes, and is back on track, and after a long period without any therapy and lobbying by many professionals, he is now receiving ABA for two hours a day, 4 days a week, through government funding.  It is not as much as we had hoped for, but it is some therapy.

Since Ethan’s move into his father’s home, his Dad and Grandparents were not prepared for the enormous costsof raising a child on the Autism Spectrum, especially with Dad being a single parent on a limited income.

Summer day care, before and after school care, transportation costs, Autism Support Services, medical visits, private Autism Services, after school activities, etc.  With 40,000 children with ASD in Ontario right now, funding is difficult to get and Ethan is one of the last on the wait list.

Just in the past 4 months, however, Ethan has made incredible progress!

With his Dad’s persistence, Ethan has gone from not being toilet trained at all, to being almost completely toilet trained in 4 months. His ABA Therapists are working diligently to  get him over this final hurdle, the most difficult part!  This is a huge factor in having him be successful in his school life, and a big step to independence.

He has also successfully transitioned from using baby bottles and sippy cups only, to using cups and water bottles to drink from, and now using straws as well.  One day he just suddenly decided he wanted to try a cup, and has not used a sippy cup since.  He also uses water bottles now, reinforced by seeing the other kids at camp drinking from them.  Again, another HUGE step to independence.

For the first time ever in his life, he began drinking juice, previously he had only ever had water from a sippy cup, or milk from a baby bottle.  

Ethan is also receiving ABA therapy to assist in his communication skills, we have been working with him to speak using complete sentences, his Dad has done a great job in encouraging this.  He is able to express his needs a lot easier now, very helpful in his day camp and school.

Ethan indicated he enjoyed hockey, baseball and skating (especially fascinated by figure skating), and is now taking skating lessons.  He was so proud when he donned his first pair of skates!

I am now reactivating Ethan’s YouCaring fundraiser to pay for some of the extremely costly expenseswe have been unable to pay for.  Inclusive Day Program during the summer, a full time one-to-one Support Worker to support him in Day Camp, transportation to Camp, school,  ABA Therapy, assessments, activities to increase his Gross Motor Skills, assistive devices such as an iPad and educational Programs, equipment such as skates, helmet, pads etc, all activities that Ethan is not receiving funding for.

Any donation no matter how small will help Ethan in his progress. All monies donated will go to Ethan’s expenses.

We have set up a Facebook page for fundraising for Ethan's therapy at 

https://www.facebook.com/HelpEthanOvercomeAutism

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.

Most of you have already contributed, and Ethan thanks you for your help and contributions, and of course we don’t expect more from you!

However you can help by passing this on to your friends and family, through social media or just word of mouth.   Just passing the word along, would help so much!

Thank you from all of us at the Girard/Keenan family!!!!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 16, 2017

Posted on August 16, 2017

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

Wonderful news!

Ethan, now almost 6, is speaking quite a bit, he has made some significant progress is his Speech and Language skills, and Ethan can now say “I love you” to his Dad, Mom, and of course, his Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles!

Ethan’s life (and ours as well) has gone through significant changes in the past year, and he has made incredible progress in so many areas!

Since we began this YouCaring fundraiser, and thanks to each and every one of you, Ethan was receiving Autism Therapy and made some remarkable progress in many areas.  Ethan also made a lot of gains in other areas such as Communication skills, Gross and Fine Motor Skills, eye contact, letters, counting and number skills.  

In the summer 2016, as there was no funding left to continue ABA and Autism therapy, he no longer attended his ABA sessions, and progress in these areas slowed down somewhat.

In April 2017, due to some unfortunate circumstances, Ethan began living with his Dad, where he is currently residing.  He loves his new room, his new school, and the new house.  He is still receiving care from his Autism Support Worker, who has worked with him for 3 years.

Ethan adjusted very well to these changes, and is back on track, and after a long period without any therapy and lobbying by many professionals, he is now receiving ABA for two hours a day, 4 days a week, through government funding.  It is not as much as we had hoped for, but it is some therapy.

Since Ethan’s move into his father’s home, his Dad and Grandparents were not prepared for the enormous costs of raising a child on the Autism Spectrum, especially with Dad being a single parent on a limited income.

Summer day care, before and after school care, transportation costs, Autism Support Services, medical visits, private Autism Services, after school activities, etc.  With 40,000 children with ASD in Ontario right now, funding is difficult to get and Ethan is one of the last on the wait list.

Just in the past 4 months, however, Ethan has made incredible progress!

With his Dad’s persistence, Ethan has gone from not being toilet trained at all, to being almost completely toilet trained in 4 months. His ABA Therapists are working diligently to  get him over this final hurdle, the most difficult part!  This is a huge factor in having him be successful in his school life, and a big step to independence.

He has also successfully transitioned from using baby bottles and sippy cups only, to using cups and water bottles to drink from, and now using straws as well.  One day he just suddenly decided he wanted to try a cup, and has not used a sippy cup since.  He also uses water bottles now, reinforced by seeing the other kids at camp drinking from them.  Again, another HUGE step to independence.

For the first time ever in his life, he began drinking juice, previously he had only ever had water from a sippy cup, or milk from a baby bottle.  

Ethan is also receiving ABA therapy to assist in his communication skills, we have been working with him to speak using complete sentences, his Dad has done a great job in encouraging this.  He is able to express his needs a lot easier now, very helpful in his day camp and school.

Ethan indicated he enjoyed hockey, baseball and skating (especially fascinated by figure skating), and is now taking skating lessons.  He was so proud when he donned his first pair of skates!

I am now reactivating Ethan’s YouCaring fundraiser to pay for some of the extremely costly expenses we have been unable to pay for.  Inclusive Day Program during the summer, a full time one-to-one Support Worker to support him in Day Camp, transportation to Camp, school,  ABA Therapy, assessments, activities to increase his Gross Motor Skills, assistive devices such as an iPad and educational Programs, equipment such as skates, helmet, pads etc, all activities that Ethan is not receiving funding for.

Any donation no matter how small will help Ethan in his progress. All monies donated will go to Ethan’s expenses.

We have set up a Facebook page for fundraising for Ethan's therapy at 

https://www.facebook.com/HelpEthanOvercomeAutism

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.

Most of you have already contributed, and Ethan thanks you for your help and contributions, and of course we don’t expect more from you!

However you can help by passing this on to your friends and family, through social media or just word of mouth.   Just passing the word along, would help so much!

Thank you from all of us at the Girard/Keenan family!!!!


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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