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

Ady’s Barracks – Grayson

Funded 100%

Operation: Ady's Barracks

Objective: Fencing for Grayson

Grayson is an extremely charming five-year-old boy with an infectious smile and laugh. If one were to describe him as energetic it would be a true understatement. His high energy and excitement for life leaves those close to him exhausted and in need of more caffeine.

When Grayson was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 3 years old, we found ourselves in shock though not surprised. We had been living with ASD and the unbearably difficult daily struggles that go along with this diagnosis for quite some time. Although the doctor confirmed what we already knew, intense stress and deep parental concern overwhelmed us. We wondered how we could financially provide for our special needs son, especially now that we had a new sibling at home, too.

That being said, I feel like we hit the ground running, trying to secure the best help we could for our son. We researched daily, and often through the nights, in an attempt to see what would be the most advantageous path for Grayson before consequently coming up with a plan of action. We quickly signed him up for all the recommended outpatient therapies, even though we were and still are spending more money on deductibles and copays than is prudent for our financially strained family of four. In response to the progress he has made over the past couple years, Grayson has been discharged from both ABA and Feeding Therapies. Presently, he continues to receive a weekly regimen of Occupational, Speech, and Physical Therapies. We have all dedicated our daily schedules to ensuring Grayson receives as much help as we can physically accommodate with the necessary transportation. As his mother, I mentally cannot deny him anything that carries even a glimmer of potential benefit.

While his demonstrated progress is encouraging, Grayson remains significantly delayed for his age. He continues to possess language impairment and lacks the ability to communicate adequately. Grayson also remains noticeably deficient in his social skills and general awareness. While they may sometimes be slightly less frequent, Grayson continues to demonstrate uncontrollable behavior and numerous meltdowns at home and in the community.

Grayson loves to play outside. If you were to witness him in the backyard, you would see the purest definition of a child running around with “wild abandon.” He is free outside: free to run as fast as he can and be as loud as he desires. No “walking feet” or “number 2 voice” reminders here! While it is a joy to observe his happiness and comfortability while playing outside, my parental concerns remain escalated. Grayson has never met a stranger. He smiles and waves at everyone. While this is endearing, it is also troublesome as Grayson would not hesitate to approach any stranger he encounters. Furthermore, he would happily go with anyone who offered him a warm smile. Even without the anxieties of strangers, my parental fears remain high when he is outside because Grayson has never been a child who respects boundaries – none of any kind. To request that he stay in a yard that does not have a fence would be preposterous. If Grayson notices something of interest or decides he wants to see something up close, he will not hesitate to act on his impulses. I always make sure I have a tight grip on his hand whenever we are in public. Given that Grayson has a younger brother, my hands are literally glued to their hands. This leaves me to find new ways to hold onto my car keys and push the unlock button while simultaneously gripping Grayson’s and his brother’s hands so they cannot ninja their way out of my control. Though it is somewhat acceptable to hold hands while in public, I find myself only allowing Grayson to be within arm’s length when playing in an unfenced area. Even so, it is a constant mental battle of “Worst-Case Scenario” with multiple theoretical situations on replay in my mind. One of these scenarios became a reality when we took Grayson to the beach for the first time. While we were attempting to lay out towels while battling strong wind and gritty sand in our eyes, we turned around to see that Grayson was gone in just a matter of a couple seconds. It was one of those scenes where the whole world is spinning, and paralysis sets in. Thankfully, we noticed him about 200 feet away walking calmly in the opposite direction. He had decided on his own to walk to the pier that was over a mile away. Lesson learned; Tight Grip Forever Plan reinstated.

A fence would provide Grayson’s parents with an immeasurable amount of peace. It would be so comforting to allow Grayson to play outside, knowing that he is safe in our backyard. A fence would be life-changing for everyone involved. Grayson and his younger brother would be able to play outside exponentially more often because we would know that Grayson could not wander off or be coaxed into leaving with a stranger. He would be granted the luxury of playing in his own backyard and feeling the freedom that he deserves and so visibly enjoys.

Campaign was successfully completed on 04/15/2021!

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