Thursday, 27 March 2014

An Event Not To Be Missed- Avergan Hush-Hush Speakeasy!

I have mentioned this foundation in the past, but wanted to elaborate a bit and share an upcoming event that should be lots of fun!

Avergan Foundation- they are a godsend to Anne Arundel County in Maryland.  Their primary purpose is to provide scholarships to Cisco Center, which is where Nate goes in the afternoons.  They have also started a new program to provide date nights to autism parents, which is something that rarely happens in our worlds (trust me- our last one was our anniversary last December).  I have touched on how much I love Cisco Center in the past, but also mentioned just how difficult it has been for us to send the boys there.  They provide amazing services, but of course those services cost money, and rightly so.  It's the crux of the special needs parenting situation- you want the best for your kiddos, the best costs money....which, well, you don't have, because your kids have special needs, and everything they need costs money.
Description from Avergan website:
Cisco Center is a non-profit education center serving children and families with special needs.  Their Special Needs Intervention Program focuses on developing a child’s individual needs in the areas of: Early Childhood Academic and Readiness levels, Speech/Language Therapy, Oral Motor Skills, Eating/Feeding Skills, Socialization Skills, and Fine Motor/Gross Motor Skills.  They specifically handle children with Autism, Communication Disorders/Delays, Sensory Processing Disorders, Social/Emotional Delays, Oral Motor Disorders, Down’s Syndrome, Behavioral Disorders and Attention Deficit Disorders.
Cisco Center serves about 100 families a year, but there are never more than 10 to 15 children in the center at one time.  They maintain a 1:2 staff to child ratio and sometimes 1:1, if needed.
Their programs are amazing and the success stories and personal stories of Cisco and his wife Carla, and the impact they have had on so many childrens’ lives is astounding.  But, this type of service does come at a cost and some families are not able to afford to send their child to the center as much as they would like, or even at all.
This is where Avergan Foundation can help!  We will be providing a scholarship program to help ensure that families that want to come to Cisco Center will not be impeded by financial limitations.

Avergan is helping to defray some of these costs for families.  They are providing scholarships for little guys to go to Cisco, and these kids are now getting services they they weren't able to have before.  For instance, our Nate was not able to have private speech for several years.  Our insurance would cover only 60 sessions of combined speech and OT each year, and frankly 60 sessions was not enough for OT alone.  He really needs to go twice a week, this is one of the areas where he struggles the most.  I recently was able to take Nate in to speech at another center because of the new habilitative services mandate in Maryland, although don't ask me if our insurance has actually paid any of these claims because you may actually see smoke come out of my ears.  Literally.  In any case, the only time they had an appointment available to him was at 1pm on Wednesdays.  So this mama was taking her lunch break, grabbing Nate from Cisco Center (away from the speech pathologist he has known and loved for over a year) taking him to the new therapy center and watching him scream and throw himself on the floor for an hour, then taking him back to Cisco where he would do more of the same.  Gotta love routine changes for our kids.  How productive was that?  Avergan stepped in.  Now Nate is able to have his speech sessions with Carla at Cisco, thanks to a speech scholarship.  And he is actually getting something out of it.  And frankly, mommy isn't going through hell torturing her poor son every Wednesday either.  This may seem a small change to someone not experienced in this area, but to us, it is huge. 

Please come out and support Avergan!  Have a look at this event- it looks like it will be a blast- but more importantly this is a cause so very near and dear to my heart.  It's going to be a long time before the standard of care for these kids catches up to what they actually need- this foundation is trying to bridge that gap- please support their efforts!

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