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This fundraiser ended on 04/09/12

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The family and friends of Antonio Robles are uniting to raise money to help with his battle against Autism, Hypotonia and Macrocephaly

Please help offset the financial medical and tuition costs for Antonio Manuel Robles-Rodriguez (El "Guling").
Guling was born on February 1, 2007. In the delivery room, my take-charge aunt, Gwenia, took over the delivery, shoving my doctor aside and standing to my left ready to go, while my husband, Antonio Robles, quietly stood on my right. My mother, Luz Rodriguez, sat by my feet and snacked on a bag of Lays Potato Chips to calm her nerves. It was a shaky and long delivery but Guling arrived silent, wide-eyed and curious at 8:21 A.M., weighing in at 6.15 lbs and 21” long. My husband and my mother were the first to hold my lil’ ray of sunshine, then someone remembered I was still in the room and placed in him arms, where I immediately fell in love at first sight!
At 3 months, we noticed unusual seizure-like activity, where Guling would stiffen-up, clench his fragile jaws and turn shades of blue with slight foaming at the mouth. When we asked his pediatrician for further testing, he told me I was just an over reacting 1st time mother. Several episodes later, the longest episode lasted over 1 minute long and we quickly checked my son and me into the Orlando Children’s Hospital, where he received his 1st MRI and of the brain and stomach. We were told he had Acid Reflux and a normal level of water the brain and that we would learn to recognize these symptoms better as we became more experienced parents; naturally, this did not sit well with us so we began monitoring his developmental mild stones.
As an infant, Guling rarely cried or moved in his crib; crawled at 9 months; walked on his toes, began flapping his hands and grinding his fragile little jaws at 15 months; baby talked at 23 months, when he uttered his first clear words “mine” meaning mama and “puppo” meaning papa; and began speaking 2 to 3 word phrases at almost 3 years old. Guling experienced emotional difficulties when faced with daily transitions, climbing up and down the stairs, curbs and slides, getting dirty and eating foods with a mushy texture. Guling hear loud confined music, walk amongst large enclosed crowds, malls or cathedral ceilings, because he experiences an immediate painful, emotional and physical shut-down. In order for Guling to complete a small task, all elements including food, must be presented in a structured fashion and never mixed together. If this is not the case, he will rearrange the environment to suit his needs before working on the task, which truly fascinates us. We have no doubt we are dealing with a genius here.
It wasn’t until we moved the New York City, when Guling was 18 months old and met his new pediatrician, Dr. Cao who immediately noticed something was not right and referred Guling to the Early Steps Program, where he began a life-long journey into Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapies. What was strange to all of us was that Guling always held and continues to hold steady eye contact, enjoys affection and being sociable, which is not traditional with Autism. Over time, we noticed Guling possessed the skill for complex problem solving, puzzles and computers. Although extremely structured environments seem to help control his symptoms, it also limits his advancement in most activities, so Guling needs to work harder to complete simple tasks like brushing his teeth or walk down the stairs, but performs them to perfection.
When my niece, Daniela, was born 2 months prior to Guling, we dreamed of the day when our children would attend the same school, grow up and play together but reality set in and we made it our mission to research and find every possible treatment for Guling to help modify the physical, neurological and emotional issues he battles daily. When we decided to have another child, Landon Cruz Robles, we realized it would be a challenge, but felt we were ready to give Guling a sibling. One particular challenge was and continues to be teaching my boys how to play together without hurting each other, which is difficult under the best of circumstances.
In the past, Guling would receive 6 hours of therapy that included Speech, Occupational and Physical, which his insurance has seriously reduced due to budget cuts so we have to pay for his treatments out-of-pocket. Currently, Guling is not receiving therapy until the 2012 insurance red tape clears him. Needless to say, financial obstacles keep Guling from receiving the help he needs daily. It is vital he receive the treatments sooner rather than later; before entering Kindergarten. Currently, Guling has been placed in a “cookie cutter” Broward County Special Education (ESE) program that provides limited support for his specific condition, so it is inevitable that Guling will fall through the Public School System cracks, because this program alone does not provide him with the full range of support he needs to get better.
In addition to these difficulties he continues to face today, we have observed some discontent in his little brother, especially when he is left outside the therapy room crying his eyes out, because someone took his “broder” away. It is heartwarming to observe how much Landon loves his brother and tries to help him and says, “Broder, you ok? Can I help you?” Landon is extremely protective over his big brother and even helps Guling dress in the morning. In an effort to ensure Landon does not get lost in the daily Autism grind, we do our best to provide treatments they can both share. At the moment, we are still waiting for insurance approval to resume Guling’s therapies. In the meantime, we continue to provide the very best education at home.
Guling is now 5 years old and still calls us “mine” and “puppo” and we just adore that about him. After numerous MRIs, BAERs, EEGs, Neurological Pediatrician, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Orange and Broward Counties, Dan Marino Center, and other agencies to numerous to mention evaluations, and 100s of therapy hours, the hard work has finally begun to pay off. We’ve noticed various basic skills emerging, but the hand flapping, tension and toe walking is getting worse. In July 2012, Guling was finally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hypotonia (low muscle tone), Macrocephaly (enlarged forehead) amongst other things.
So far, we have been able to provide the following sessions that have helped Antonio overcome his physical limitations: Safe Start Swimming, where they both learned to survive in the water, which has helped him control involuntary body movements and strengthen his weak muscles and core; Pembroke Pines Ice Skating, where the therapist takes the therapy onto the ice, which helps improve muscle tone, reduce toe walking, breaks the fear of leaving the ground and trust velocity; and Guling now wants to play piano and soccer, which his neurological pediatrician states will help with his lack of coordination and relax his hands and fingers, which normal don’t stoop moving around his face. We have tried going the government route and have been placed on several waiting lists. Ultimately, we hope to provide these sessions along with other treatments as soon as fund becomes available. With your help, you can offset the medical and tuitions costs Guling needs as a growing toddler. As children with Autism grow older, it become increasingly difficult to modify their behaviors, so timing is everything here.
We are blessed that Guling also has (2) older step-sisters, Andrea (17) and Rosa (22), who stand behind and support their little brother's development and fight against Autism related disorders. We hope this site will encourage others to help make a difference in the lives of the children in need of support, because if we don't - who will?
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