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This fundraiser ended on 11/30/11

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Please help us raise the money we need to get the autism therapy for Peter that our insurance doesn't cover.

Peter is amazing. He started pick out songs on the piano, and reading 4-5 letter words at age 3. He started writing letters and numbers then too, and his handwriting was much neater than a normal child of his age. He would count all of the stairs going up to his room. He memorized the numbers one through twenty in German after hearing it just three or four times, and he came home from his special needs class after a week with the entire pledge of allegiance memorized. He knows the workings of an iPod touch inside and out, and rarely makes a fuss about anything. He is sweet, loving and such a blessing...

But he doesn't talk to us.

While Peter has an extensive vocabulary and a great diction, his autism spectrum disorder prevents him from understanding how to communicate with us. He lives in his own secluded world and only shouts out objects as he wants them.

"Cup, please!"

"iPod please!"

"Cookie, please!"

We have never heard him say "Momma, I love you." "Goodnight, daddy." "I'm tired" "I'm hungry" "This is fun!"... or any of the other normal phrases parents hear from their 4 year olds. Peter can repeat sentences when prompted, but he doesn't communicate with words on his own. But this is something he CAN learn to do.

We've had Peter in the public school system for pre-school through a state-funded program called PPCD. He meets with a speech therapist once a week for 30 minutes, and he is in a class for 3 hours every week day with other children with a variety of special needs. But this program is not specifically geared towards autism spectrum disorder, and we haven't seen any big strides in Peter's development as compared to the things parents are seeing with special schools like Behavioral Innovactions, a treatment center/school for children with autism. ( B.I. offers autism therapy that is more advanced and far more successful in helping autistic children to learn the skills they need to overcome a lot of the challenges they face. The teachers are certified therapists who know how to help with things like communication, sensory issues, speech, environmental awareness and other common struggles that autistic children face every day. The downside? Expense. These schools are very costly, and not covered by most insurance companies.

Here's what's extremely frustrating:

Stephen and I have decided that it is crucial that we do whatever we can to add 6 months of autism therapy to his regular public schooling. Six months has shown to be the timeframe in which most of the improvements occur. That timeframe is also important because Peter is just a few steps away from being able to enter regular public school for Kindergarten next year. This therapy could make ALL the difference.

Just the minimum of one session each week will cost us almost $700 a month. We are doing everything we can to get this money together. I am baking more than I ever have and selling my Canon 7D camera to use for this schooling for Pete. Stephen is looking for every last cent he can use to put towards the bill. But we are afraid we can't do it alone.

Every little bit helps. A monthly gift would be such a blessing, but even a one time small donation would be appreciated. We will make this work no matter what, we are not opposed to selling possessions, but we are asking for help. We want to make sure that Peter has the best chance to catch up and live an extraordinary life.

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