Despite a rare chromosome disorder, ”Deletion 18q- Syndrome,” (www.Chromosome18.org), with which David was born, he is a happy and sweet almost 5 year-old who loves to be tickled and hugged.
Diagnosed in only 450 known people worldwide, this syndrome causes David to have low muscle tone and a growth hormone deficiency, a hormone that David receives by injection 6 days a week, and unless an alternative method is found, he will continue to receive for the rest of his life. The growth hormone helps him to grow, but more importantly, it maintains the Myelin coating on the brain that allows his brain signals to travel & reach their destinations.
David is also autistic. He is nonverbal and up until recently did not share eye contact or participate in group affairs. He would turn a blind eye to strangers, even his immediate family. At times, David would not react in the least bit to the sound of clapping or even of dropping a book on the floor behind him. He seemed deaf, but other times he could hear a pin drop.
For the last 2 1/2 years, we have been using the techniques learned from books, audio cassettes, and videos, as well as from attending a three step program running one week-long each step, offered by the Son-Rise Program. David has made huge improvements. His
stimming, which was constant, is now almost non - existent. Once he was unable to look at us, but now he not only looks at us, but holds eye contact while we speak to him However, David still has quite a way to go for complete recovery. For example, he continues to be non-verbal and is very easily over-stimulated.
The Son-Rise Program
is based at the Options Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts, Because Options is a non-profit organization, insurance doesn’t cover any of the training costs essential for David's recovery.
Due to the generosity of people like you,
Autism does not have to be a life sentence! Thank you for your help.