My husband and I are taking our son Luke to an autism center in L.A. this summer. We'll have some money available, but we need some help.
My 7 year-old son Luke was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and has had speech therapy and ABA therapy for the past several years. He has made tremendous progress through his day-long therapy center here in Austin. His social skills, eye contact and behavior have improved. However, we believe additional therapy is needed. I've always thought that Luke had issues with processing language correctly. His comprehension skills are poor, and he understands only simple requests. His ABA therapist compared it to a "wall" that stopped messages going into his brain. In 2011, a local neurologist gave a talk about exciting research into TransMagnetic Stimulation (TMS) to treat autistic patients. That summer, we traveled to Los Angeles and visited the only non-university clinic in the United States that uses TMS for autistic people. We met the founder, a psychiatrist who has been practicing for over 20 years. We spoke about Luke and our concerns about his language comprehension. After our visit, we thought it was a program Luke would benefit from. Unfortunately our health insurance would not cover the procedure and we did not have the money for the required three month stay. My husband and I have decided to sell our home to reduce our debt. We will put aside some money from the sale to partially pay for the treatment, but we will still need funding for the therapy. The amount from the house sale will cover about a month's worth of TMS therapy. The amount we are requesting will cover the remaining time as well as cost of living expenses and travel from Austin to Los Angeles (we need to drive there instead of taking a plane). We are also creating a series of video blogs about Luke's progress that will hopefully become a documentary. If there are additional funds, we will create the film and offer it for free on our YouTube page. If Luke does not pass the clinic's evaluation criteria, the funds will be used for music therapy, hippotherapy, and similiar programs in Austin. We will keep everyone informed about Luke's progress via our GiveForward webpage and my website at http://medicalsavings.wordpress.com.