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.
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
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!!!!