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anna norland-marks raised £396 from 13 supporters

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Closed 14/09/2018

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£396raised of £10,000 target by 13 supporters

    Weʼve raised £396 to help our 3 year old son Macauley get the therapy he needs to enable him to go to school with his brother and sister

    Funded on Friday, 14th September 2018

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    Story

    Our 3 year old son was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months old after his development stalled at 11 months and he rapidly began to regress.

    He lost all eye contact, his muscle tone decreased significantly and he lost all use of verbal and non verbal language skills and was no longer able to walk. It was not only heart breaking but absolutely terrifying and we felt like we had lost the baby that we once had and were left with a poor little boy who was floppy, constantly screamed and was unable to engage with any of us, including his 2 year old sister. I remember being so nervous to bring his new baby brother home (Romeo) as I was unsure of Macauley‘s reaction. The night I came home with Romeo, I was feeding him on the sofa and Macauley came to lie on me and it was as if the new baby was completely invisible to him. He was unable to acknowledge him at all. Macauley was the same with animals. We used to visit wildlife parks and zoos and it was as if he just did not see the animals. We have plenty of pictures of him standing millimetres from a Kangaroo but completely oblivious!

    We were living in Australia and became isolated. It was near impossible for me to take Macauley to any playgroups or soft play or even friends’ houses because he struggled to cope in other environments. If we went to Theme Parks, he would sit on rides with the same vacant look on his face that he always had.

    At 19 months, we set up an in home therapy program for Macauley where he was assessed by a Behavior Analyst who wrote an individuised program for him. A therapist came to our house every day for 2 hours to work with him and help him develop skills in almost every possible area. She helped him learn the skills to be able to play with his siblings, taught him how to play with toys, how to make eye contact with others and most heart warming of all, who we were. She made photo books of all of his family and all his favourite items, rooms of our house, objects he might need, you name it, he was taught it!

    One of the most obvious flags for Autism that Macauley displayed was the lack of pointing (joint attention). I remember thinking it would be impossible that if you pointed to a plane in the sky, Macauley might actually look up and see what we were pointing to. But sure enough, within a few months of intensive therapy, Macauley was pointing our planes in the sky to us! Not only was he pointing, he had learnt to talk!!!

    2 years on, Macauley‘s funding in Australia was exhausted and after remortgaing the house, generous contributions from our family, we are unable to provide this wonderful therapy for him anymore. We have moved back to the UK to be nearer family support but unfortunately that came at a cost which was to give up the services which were available for him in Australia. Macauley will have no choice but to go to mainstream school here and so far has been rejected for any additional support in pre-school by the local authority despite being evaluated by several professionals over here including a Paedeatrician, Speech Therapist and Educational Psychologist as being approximately 2 years behind developmentally.

    It is recommended in his previous assessments that he still requires 1-1 input to enable him to aquire the skills to form friendships, learn independently from his environment and communicate effectively. He also needs support with his motor skills so occupational therapy is important for him but he is not eligible for that service here either. We would like him to be able to feed himself, dress himself and be as independent as possible for his future in the hope that one day he will be able to leave home and find employment 🙏

    We have found the equivalent therapy service here but of course it is a private organisation. Although we try to provide as much therapy ourselves and plough any available funds we have into it, as this is a crucial time in his development and we want to give him the best possible chance, we are asking our friends if they would like to contribute to Macauley‘s therapy fund.

    Those of you who have been with me on this journey know that I have devoted my whole life to helping Macauley and have been there to witness first hand, the miraculous improvements in him and seen just how far he has come.

    To give you an idea of how far your help can go, £12 provides one hour of 1-1 therapy. In just one hour, Macauley was able to be taught and retain several catergories over the summer holidays. He was taught weather catergories, toys, animals, vehicles and people! This is something that most neurotypical children pick up naturally. Romeo is 18 months younger and already can identify and catergorise these things. Macauley was specifically taught these and is now able to talk about the weather, distinguish people from animals, identify a guitar as an instrument etc. These all help towards him being able to communicate more effectively and have meanigful conversations. This is amazing as we were told that it was likely he would never talk!

    Thanks to the therapy Macauley has had so far, we can now take him to a zoo and he can label an animal and even feed one! My hope is that it will not be long before he can make a friend ❤️

    Once we have set up a program, my intention is to train as a therapist (I have my first certificate) and donate my time to a family who could benefit from this life changing therapy and to also raise awareness.

    Updates

    5

    • anna norland-marks1 year ago
      anna norland-marks

      anna norland-marks

      1 year ago

      Macauley is doing great with his new therapist. He gets excited for her to arrive and is loving learning with her so far. Thank you everyone for your very kind contributions towards the cost of therapy. We are incredibly grateful and hopeful for great progress! 💖

      Update from the Page owner

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    • anna norland-marks1 year ago
      anna norland-marks

      anna norland-marks

      1 year ago

      We held our first UK workshop yesterday and Macauley met his 2 new tutors who will be helping him on the next chapter of his ABA journey. Macauley has very limited interests so the program will start with introducing him to a more diverse range of interests. He will also be learning to dress himself and feed himself 🙏 Thank you to those who have donated once again, your generosity helps enable us to give Macauley the skills he needs to be independent and have meaningful conversations with others ❤️❤️

      Update from the Page owner

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    • anna norland-marks1 year ago
      anna norland-marks

      anna norland-marks

      1 year ago
      Update from the Page owner

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    1 year ago

    anna norland-marks started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 12/6/2017 9:29 AM

    Supporters

    13

    • Lisa Gilligan

      Lisa Gilligan

      Dec 6, 2017

      £20.00

    • Karen Connolly

      Karen Connolly

      Dec 5, 2017

      XX

      £12.00

    • amy Ayliffe

      amy Ayliffe

      Dec 1, 2017

      Lots of love Amy, Mark, George and Jessica xx

      £20.00

    • Ross Donnelly

      Ross Donnelly

      Dec 1, 2017

      Sorry to hear about Macauley, hope this little bit helps. Best of luck with his therapy.

      £50.00

    • Kurt Young

      Kurt Young

      Nov 23, 2017

      £100.00

    • Rita Lawlor

      Rita Lawlor

      Nov 23, 2017

      £30.00

    • Miriam  Gilligan

      Miriam Gilligan

      Nov 23, 2017

      Xxx xxx

      £50.00

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    anna norland-marks

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