In March 2011 I became a first time Grandmother. The joy was indescribable. My perfect, sweet, cuddly grandson was, well. perfect. After working in the health care field for over 30 years I was in the practise of scrutinizing wee babies, watching for milestones while celebrating their beauty. I quickly realized that something was concerning with our little guys development. To make a long story less tiresome, our perfect little grandson was eventually diagnosed with autism. This was just the beginning of a frustrating, heart aching journey for our family. My daughter became a fierce advocate for her son, securing needed services and placements on waiting lists.
My grandson is delightful and loved by all of us. He, unfortunately, was not a happy little guy. He developed many insecurities and horrific fears. To recount just one chapter , Ollie became afraid of the wind. He became very astute at watching the very subtle flicker of flags blowing in the breeze. This developed into a full blown " I cant go outside" fear. The staff at his school were incredible in trying to help him with this fear that was impacting his education and much needed socializing with his peers. It was not enough. Intensive ABA with an estimated cost of 57,000. dollars annually was the ticket! He improved dramatically and was a much happier, healthier boy The difficulty is the price tag. After working and paying taxes for 43 years it didn't make sense that extraordinary measures were needed to pay for treatment for my grandson who was born with this neuro-biological condition. Quite simply, we require needs-based funding to deal with issues related to autism! Grandma should not have to remortgage her home to pay for his treatment!