[Guest Blogger] Kate and Mylo, in Honor of World Autism Awareness Day

I’m very excited to feature my FIRST EVER guest blogger.

Kate is a fellow mommy blogger. But more importantly, she is mother. Her son, Mylo, is three and a half years old and has been diagnosed with autism. Her and her husband are looking for alternative treatment for him, but need assistance.

I came across her story on a Facebook group that we both are a part of. Some very wicked moms on there are helping her to raise money for a new form of therapy that is very expensive and not covered by medical. As someone who has nannied children with autism in the past, I felt a connection to what this mom is fighting for. I have worked hand in hand with therapists, trying to help children to become more communicative and more engaged. I have seen how hard it can be for a parent and a child during a good day. And how hard it can be during a bad day. But don’t get me wrong, there are many moments of joy and laughter.

The Facebook group, for Mom’s living in or near New Westminster, is stepping up and helping Kate with financial and emotional support. There will be a Swap Meet held at River Market (New Westminster Quay) on Sunday, April 27th at 3:00pm. Mom’s have graciously donated things for a table that will have 100% of sales go towards Mylo’s new therapy (Son-Rise, read more about it from Kate, below) and other ladies have bought tables to sell their items, donating a portion to the cause.
There are tables still available, if you have some baby items you are looking to sell. And they are still collection donated items for the group table. Please contact the organizers for more information or to book tables or arrange donations drop off.
Also, check them out on Twitter for upcoming sneak peeks of items you can find at the Swap Meet.

It may be a couple days past World Autism Awareness Day, but hey, when you get two mom’s together to work on something, it can never happen on a fixed time constraint!

And now, for our feature presentation! (Sorry, I’ve always wanted to say that!)

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My name is Kate.  I am a local New West mom.  I’m happily married to perhaps the best man around. Together we raise a very special little person.  This is our very condensed story.

What did we imagine in those hazy years before parenting, before autism, before this new life was thrust upon us?  Probably the same as all of you imagined.  Giving birth to a chubby little person, nurturing them, loving them, watching them grow, being excited for every new (and expected) thing they learned or did.  In my mind it was all mapped out, it would unfold just as it should.  And, it has.

Let me tell you a little about our son Mylo.  He is the most tenacious spirit you’ll ever hope to meet.  He is bright and full of energy, light and love.  He is painfully handsome, incredibly creative and all around brilliant.   He is also mostly misunderstood, even by us, his parents.

Mylo is 3.5 years old and was diagnosed at 18 months with autism.  From birth, his dad and I realized we had a child whose needs were both more complex and greater than we were fully prepared for.  He was not a happy baby and we now understand that even then, his world was one of massive sensory overload, discomfort and frustration.

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This life is not one we would have chosen, if someone had given us the choice. But there it is, we weren’t given a choice.  What we were given, was a little boy whose whole world is unique, from the way he perceives light and sound and touch, to the way he interacts with his environment and those in it.  What we were given was our son, we were handed our hearts.

What we WEREN’T handed was a guide book, a rule book, a stick by which to measure progress, regression, sadness, heartache and break, anger, or uncertainty.   What we weren’t given were the answers on what the best form of therapy was for OUR son and OUR family.  We did our research and found that the most widely used and accepted therapy in B.C is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  This is the therapy that the Government funds because there is science-based evidence to support its efficacy.  And so, new to this world, overwhelmed and hopeful we jumped in head-first to ABA.

Fast forward 2 years and we are standing at the precipice of new and uncharted territory.  We have given ABA a fair shake, 2 years time and all our energy.  Mylo has made some wonderful progress, although he still remains entirely non-verbal and most often locked in his own private world.  My husband and I have been exploring a different style of therapy, one which emphasizes relationship development over behavior modification.  Son-Rise is a parent and child driven model whose core idea is one of ‘joining’ your child in their world.  This ‘joining’ facilitates the building of trust and through that trust, a bridge for them to WANT to come and join us in our world. How wonderful does that sound?

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This is where you come in.  Son-Rise is not a recognized therapy in BC and therefore our provincial autism funding does not cover the cost of training.  The workshop is extensive and expensive and is only offered in the United States, all at our cost.  We are asking for your help to take this leap of faith and provide our son with the opportunity to break free from his solitary world and find his voice.  Every little bit helps.

Our life is hard, but it’s also so incredibly full of wonder and joy at the smallest detail, the smallest achievement.  I’m not sure that is something that every parent can truthfully say, that they live in the micro.  We live and love there every day.

Our son is the single most important aspect of our lives, and we would go to the ends of the earth and back if it would mean vanquishing his symptoms.  We will fight for him, we will learn for him, we will sacrifice for him and not be too proud to ask for help for him.  So thank you, one and all for supporting us, for listening to us and for loving us.

We have set up an online fundraiser for Mylo at YouCaring.

Mylo is also a very prolific artist and part of our fundraising efforts is through the sale of his beautiful, one of a kind artwork.  You can view his art and contact me to purchase.

Finally, a few of my incredible mom friends here in New West have put together a swap meet/fundraiser for us.  You can find the details here.

We really hope to see you there!


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Working on his art – Click on the photo for photos of some of the art that will be for sale to raise money for his Son-Rise therapy sessions!
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