Weʼre raising £20,000 to run Applied Behaviour Analysis sessions in Ealing for children with Autism and Registered Behavioral Technician training for their parents
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Anyone who has a child with Autism can tell you how hard it is to live a ‘normal’ family life. From being judged by other parents when your seemingly ‘normal‘ child has a meltdown at the supermarket, to having to manage toileting for a child whose peers have been out of nappies for years, the word ‘awareness’ only reinforces the lack of understanding, among professionals and the public, of the daily struggles and fears that an Autism parent lives with. ABA therapy has made a life-changing difference to the lives of these families - by supporting our children to adapt to their environment. Because, lets face it, the environment isn‘t going to adapt to them.
However, ABA is not an intervention that the NHS or education authorities will willingly fund. Not only do parents of children with Autism have to manage their children alone, often in isolation to avoid judgement, ridicule and subtle exclusion from other parents, their jobs, their friends, public places and shops/restaurants, they are then forced to mount a self-funded legal case in order to obtain funding for their children to receive the only “evidence-based” intervention that works. We are told we don‘t need lawyers to fight for the funding but the organisations we are fighting have access to a team of them.
To cap it all off, qualified and experienced ABA professionals are in high demand and short supply. Unqualified and inexperienced tutors are stepping into the breach with inadequate skillsets and high fees - it‘s unethical. For people who have given up their careers and incomes - even lost their homes in some cases - it seems hopeless! The impact on the mental wellbeing of these family members, who feel ‘invisible’ and completely forgotten, is devastating.
I’m raising money to fund consultancy support, resources and venue hire for a year of one day a week sessions for children who do not have access to funding for ABA and whose families are worn out and can‘t face yet another fight I‘m also raising money for concurrent 40 hour RBT training for their parents, to enable them to deliver the strategies at home and, perhaps, provide them with the foundations and qualifications to begin a career in ABA therapy.
Autism isn‘t curable but children receiving ABA therapy can learn to cope with the challenges of daily life. Their future looks brighter and the well being of their families is significantly improved. That is bound to have a positive impact on the society we live in and on the resources we share.
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Elizabeth Snider started crowdfunding