Serving God by Serving Special Needs Families. Ady's Army Giving “Piece” of Mind, One Family at a Time.

Ady’s Barracks – Chris

Funded 65%

Operation: Ady's Barracks

Objective: Fencing for Chris

Laura, Chris’s mother, grew up in a home where the words autism and special needs were often used. Her mother worked with special needs children for 30 years. Although the situation was all too familiar, nothing, & I mean NOTHING prepares you for the words, “Your son has Autism.”

Chris was developing like a typical child and meeting all of his milestones. He was responding to his name, saying mama, dada, waving bye-bye, playing peek a boo as well as playing with toys.

At 14 mos, something started happening. Laura & other family members noticed Chris wasn’t smiling as much. He stopped saying mama, dada, waving bye-bye, and there was minimal eye contact. It wasn’t until Libby, Laura's mom, kept Chris & his sister for a long weekend while Laura and her husband went on a much-needed vacation. During their time away, Libby became alarmed when Chris wasn’t responding to any noises or making eye contact with her. She waited until Laura came home from her vacation to let her know her concerns. The first step was to take him to an audiologist to rule out hearing loss. The audiologist at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham performed a Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA) Test. During this test, Laura held Chris on her lap & he would look toward the sound. He failed this test so they scheduled a procedure, Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR). This is where Chris was put under anesthesia so they could get a more accurate reading of his hearing loss. What they found was that Chris had perfect hearing. Even though this was good news, Libby instructed Laura that they needed to schedule an autism evaluation ASAP. After discussing the findings with Chris’s pediatrician, she agreed to begin the process to have an autism evaluation. Libby told Laura we need to grieve later and focus on the next step. There was definitely an urgency. At this time, Chris was 14/15 mos old. For an autism evaluation, per testing criteria, he would need to be 16 mos old to be evaluated but they learned the evaluation would not be covered by insurance due to his age. Insurance requires the individual to be 2 yrs old. This was precious time. They could not wait 9 months to be evaluated to start therapy. Time was crucial at this point.

On November 19, 2020, Chris was diagnosed at Mitchell’s Place with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you look for the silver lining, there definitely is one. They feel God was holding their hand. In the autism world, if there is a “good” time to be diagnosed, it’s at 16 mos. Early intervention is the key to unlocking a child’s potential with Autism.

Chris receives ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) & Speech Therapy at Mitchell’s Place. He also attends Mountain Brook Presbyterian Preschool where he is so loved.

Chris is an exceptional little boy with a beautiful smile & contagious laugh. He is nonverbal but with many prayers & therapy, he can say a few spontaneous words when he wants to. Those words consist of together, dinosaur, up, down, EJ, and a few more. He is still working on the most important ones... Mama & dada. He loves music especially the music in The Greatest Showman. He feels happy when he is outside holding a stick or walking on textured surfaces. He loves his sister, his mom, dad, and his cat Carlos so much.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Laura, Chance, Elizabeth James & Chris just moved into a new home in Trussville, AL. The only necessity is they do not have a fence. As much as Chris loves the outdoors and water, it is imperative they have a fence to not only have a safe place to play outside but a fence will provide relief and comfort to Laura & Chance knowing Chris does not have access to eloping.

**Did you know..... Nearly 50 percent of individuals with ASD have attempted to or have successfully eloped from a known adult. The leading cause of death in children with autism spectrum disorder is drowning.

Laura & Chance appreciate any assistance you can give in helping Ady’s Army reach its goal.

Campaign ended on 04/15/2021.

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