Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. In fact, 3.5 million people in the U.S. have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. At Little City, 90% of the children served have severe autism and the effects of that often hit close to home. Many families are desperate for answers when caring for a loved one with severe autism. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of people with autism.
Marvin (right) is an 18-year old boy who lives with the effects of autism. His verbal skills are extremely limited and as a result he finds it nearly impossible to express his emotions. When he can’t verbalize his frustrations, he will resort to damaging property. Right now, it is one of the only ways he knows how to communicate his needs and wants.
It is urgent for Marvin to learn coping and more communication skills as soon as possible. In four short years he will move out of the children’s program and into a community living arrangement as an adult. In order to successfully make that transition, he will need to gain many necessary life skills. Along with learning to safely and appropriately express himself, Marvin will need to master basic routines. Right now, simple personal hygiene such as brushing his teeth is a daily struggle that can result in a negative behavior.
But with your help there is hope for Marvin’s future. He will be moving into the new children’s home—Marios’ Home—where the dynamic environment could help in overcoming his obstacles.
Ross J., Marvin’s case manager, said Marios’ Home should offer some enriching opportunities including the state-of-the-art sensory room.
“We have sort of an under-developed, outdated sensory room in his current home. I think having that resource at Marios’ Home is going to be good for him. He can test out more of what he enjoys and even develop better relationships with others through that.”
And to see Marvin’s potentially bright future as a result of moving into the Children’s Village, we can look at the impact these homes have made for another boy who also struggled with the effects of autism.
To understand how much 12-year-old Tim has improved since he moved into the Duffey Family Children’s Village at Little City, you only have to hear from his 7-year-old sister.
“I love him and it is better for him because he can sleep at night. He is calmer and can sit down and we can watch movies together and play in my secret hideout together,” Julia said.
Those might seem like simple tasks, but to Tim and his two siblings it has made a world of difference. Before moving to Little City, Tim struggled with some of the same issues Marvin does. He had difficulty regulating his emotions, could be extremely loud, had a hard time sleeping, had potential for self-harm and would even break windows. It was difficult to have a brother-sister connection. Now, Tim has home visits with his family at least three times a week and Julia can greet him with a high five, a snack and then play together.
“What I’m seeing as a mom is a much more typical dynamic now,” said Lianne, Tim’s mother. “They can really play together and enjoy being around each other.”
Tim’s incredible transformation happened in only two years at the Children’s Village. And at only 12 years old, his potential is tremendous. We want the same future for Marvin.
With your support, Marvin and other children like him will be able to get the resources they need to make strides toward a more independent life. The Duffey Family Children’s Village has proven through children like Tim that major breakthroughs can happen in short periods of time.
As Marvin gets ready to take the next step in his journey, we hope you will consider taking that step with him and help him reach his fullest potential.
That is why I am asking you personally for your help. Caring people like you can make a monumental difference for individuals with autism. Your compassionate support allows us to provide the critical tools necessary to care for individuals who are learning the crucial life skills that can lead to independence and fulfillment. It is our mission to help everyone live a life filled with hope, happiness and opportunity, but the level of care for intense behavior interventions for children with autism costs $40,000-$60,000 per child, per year.
Your gift along with the gifts of others will provide a chance for a better life and a brighter future. Please give as much as you can today. It will make such a difference.