ABA for Ben

Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Sep 10, 2016
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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Sep 10, 2016

This week has been a big week for Ben, as he started school on Wednesday. I will be honest; I was extremely nervous, but thanks to a combination of a fantastic class teacher, a super one-to-one teaching assistant, and all the brilliant work his ABA team have done over the last 3-4 months to prepare him for school, it has been a great success!! He is settling in really well, and has even been interacting a little with his classmates. This is a massive achievement, as at one point we didn’t think he would be able to cope in mainstream school.

Ben is continuing to make wonderful progress; his language is developing rapidly, he is beginning to use full sentences and expand the phrases that he uses, so “help me” is now, “Mummy, can you help me fix it?” He is also just beginning to use first and second person appropriately. He is able to dress and undress himself, take shoes on and off, tolerate switching between his indoor pumps and outdoor shoes at school, and tolerate PE kit. He can stay on task and concentrate for longer. ABA have worked on increasing his interest in mark-making and improving his pencil grip, so that he will now draw and colour in, rather than get frustrated and upset – at school on Friday, he drew a picture of himself, something he would never have done a couple of months ago.

Donations update

At the end of August, Granny and Grandad threw a lovely party for Ben, to help with fundraising for his ABA programme. Around 60 of the family’s close friends, colleagues and neighbours came and we had a great evening, meeting them and catching up with friends we haven’t seen for a long time. There was a donation box for guests to make a donation if they wished, and a few people who weren’t able to come donated online or sent donations through the post. We were very touched by everyone's generosity.

The new off line total is £16,475.66 (including £1,105 from August's party) bringing the total amount raised for Ben to £22,695.66.

ABA has already made a massive difference to Ben in the short time he has been receiving it, and we are incredibly grateful for all the donations and support that we have received since beginning our fundraising a year ago, as without them this would not have been possible.

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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Jun 12, 2016

It's been a while since we last did an update, and the past few months have been busy and exciting. The end of May marked one year since Ben's diagnosis, and thanks to his ABA therapy and the generosity of all the kind people who have made that possible with their donations, Ben is finally making real progress... and lots of it (too much to mention here)!
Ben's language is developing at a rate of knots; he talks so much now... he comments on things, asks for things - the other day I knelt on his toy monkey, and he said, "No mummy! A (you're) squashing monkey." He is able to tell us if he has hurt himself and where; he can come and tell us what he needs help with; if he wants us to play or read a story to him... turns out he's quite bossy!!





The "Stay with Me" programme we mentioned in our last update has had tremendous results! We can take Ben out shopping or for a walk, and he will hold hands when asked to, and will stay close to us when allowed to let go. Such an incredible difference!

One major leap is the progress Ben is making with his toilet training. We only started this 5 weeks ago, and are amazed at how well he is doing. We are very keen for him to be toilet trained by the time he starts school in September, and we are thrilled that it looks as though this is a very real possibility. In a few weeks he has gone from being unaware of needing to go, to being able to say he needs to go, and holding on until he gets there.



Last month, we held a review of Ben's Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP). We presented evidence of the progress Ben has already made in the short time he has been having ABA. As a result, the LA have agreed to add ABA as part of the provision on his EHCP. This is a very significant step, as it means that Ben can receive funding from the LA to help towards the cost of his ABA. In fact, they will be paying almost a third of the cost of a year's therapy. This means that although we will still need to fundraise, the gap between what his therapy costs and what we can afford is slightly narrower.

On a final optimistic note, the school we have chosen for Ben are very positive about what we are doing for Ben with ABA, and although there is always the worry about affording his programme, we are very excited about what he can achieve with the combined efforts of his brilliant ABA team and a supportive school.

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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Mar 18, 2016

It’s been a while since we last did an update, so we wanted to let you know how our fundraising is going, and crucially, how Ben is getting on, now that he’s started his ABA programme!!

Ben began his ABA programme 4 weeks ago… and he is making great progress! His team have been working on his “learning-to-learn” skills, such as co-operation, imitation (both verbal & non-verbal), paying attention to people and materials, following instructions etc... They have also started a “stay with me” programme designed to teach Ben to hold mummy or daddy’s hand when out and about walking, and several other programmes to teach specific things. They will be starting a food tolerance programme in the next few weeks.


Ben’s co-operation has improved massively, and he is now following simple instructions. He has gone from having a dozen or so single words such as juice, cookie, shoes; to being able to say 2 and 3 word phrases. Within a few days of starting the “stay with me” programme, instead of the refusals and battles and tantrums we used to have, he has now begun holding mummy’s hand on the short walks between ABA and the car.


You may remember that Ben previously learned to say “up” to ask to be picked up, and then one day just stopped. He would get very distressed and frustrated, because he could not remember what to say. Well, within a few days of starting ABA, Ben has not only relearned “up”, he has now learned to say “pick me up.”


In a very short space of time doing ABA it’s as if someone switched on a light for Ben… he is beginning to learn. He is less frustrated and happier. We had some negativity from certain professionals about our decision to send Ben to ABA. They suggested that it would squash his personality and he would become a robot. Nothing could be further from the truth!! He loves ABA and his fun and feisty little personality is more evident than ever.

We are elated with the progress made so far and we look forward to seeing what he can achieve in the coming months.


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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Dec 23, 2015

What a difference a year makes…

The past few months have been emotional and busy to say the least, and we just want to say “Thank you and Merry Christmas” to all the wonderful people who have supported us. In our bid to get Ben the help he needs, we have thrown ourselves on the mercy of others (anyone who knows us well, knows that this has not been an easy thing to do), and we have been so moved by the incredible response we’ve had: family; close friends; friends we haven’t seen for 20 years; colleagues and people who’ve never met us, have all helped by giving their time, organising events, making donations or by sharing our fundraising page and the FB status updates we do, and so helping to spread the word and reach more people.
Hard to believe that this time last year we did not know that Ben had autism, in fact, although we knew something wasn’t right with his development, we’d been told by the professionals that they didn’t think he had autism. Skip on a year, and not only have we got the diagnosis, we’ve also had the awful realisation that what the NHS offers for people with ASD is very limited and that the most effective treatments (Applied Behaviour Analysis based treatments), that can really help Ben and others with ASD are only available privately and are very costly… However, in the past 3 months, we have made big steps towards getting Ben this treatment; although we will still need to keep raising money to be able to continue his programme, we have enough to begin, and Ben is due to start ABA in mid-February. This wouldn’t have been possible without your help… thank you everyone! Merry Christmas!

(Our latest offline total includes money raised by Gareth's colleagues at Pennine Acute Trust, proceeds from sales of The Little Cake Boutique and some cash donations.)


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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Nov 22, 2015

We've had a great week, this week, and we have lots of people to say thank you to... Granny's very kind friend held a coffee morning for Ben and raised £410, Daddy's lovely colleagues in the IM&T department at Penine Acute Trust organised a raffle and raised £151, and on Saturday some generous people from Audisport.net organised a go-karting event and raffle for Ben (which sadly Daddy had to miss, as he had surgery on his foot :-() and they raised £110! A massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in organising and taking part in these events. We are so touched by how much people want to help Ben. smile emoticon heart emoticon xxx
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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Nov 16, 2015

We have just updated the offline donations, which are a combination of donations to the fund and the proceeds from The Little Cake Boutique's sales. Our new total means that we now have enough to pay for the start up assessments and training sessions (for mum, dad, nursery staff and anyone else who spends a lot of time with Ben) and the first two months therapy fees. Can't wait to get started!!

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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Nov 16, 2015

We did it!!! We all completed the 5 km run in Newcastle, and raised £640 in sponsorship specifically for the run. We are very proud of both boys, and the eldest, Tom, in particular, as he has special needs himself. We had been a bit worried about how he would manage, never having done anything like a 5k run before, but he was brilliant; he ran the whole thing, and left his mum behind, in a cloud of dust!

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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Oct 14, 2015

Ben's lovely nursery staff have very kindly put up some posters about our family's participation in the Newcastle 5K run, asking people to sponsor us, so we fingers crossed we will gain some support from Ben's classmates. :-) xxx

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Update posted by Rachel Frederickson On Oct 11, 2015

The offline donations we have received in the last week or two, plus the proceeds from recent cake orders at The Little Cake Boutique, comes to 725. Many, many thanks for the donations. xxx

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Good luck! All the best.

Jonathan Ferguson

Backed On Sep 10, 2017 Amount Hidden

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Anonymous

Backed On Dec 15, 2016 Amount Hidden

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We hope that you reach your target soon . Such a courageous little boy deserves every opportunity to get well, good luck Ben. Lizzie and Bob

Elizabeth Maddison

Backed with £20.00 On Sep 01, 2016

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Wishing you both the best for meeting the target for Ben.

John Plunkett

Backed with £100.00 On Aug 27, 2016

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We wish you all our very best wishes with your fundraising for Ben and hope that he continues to make great strides forward. Chris and Jackie Robson

Jackie Robson

Backed with £30.00 On Aug 23, 2016

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Please accept this donation on behalf of the TT MK1 Forum & Community group on Facebook. We held a charity raffle at Audis In The Park, with proceeds going to a few charities. X

Deena Laycock

Backed with £50.00 On Aug 17, 2016

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from gary ttoc pymnt for door handles with thanks & best wishes

gary loughran

Backed with £13.00 On Apr 06, 2016

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Have just spent hrs reading Garths resto threads on the TT Forum, which brought me here. Ihave a 20mnth old daughter and this donation is in her name, Daisy, says Hi Ben...

Rob

Backed with £100.00 On Mar 30, 2016

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Anonymous

Backed On Mar 19, 2016 Amount Hidden

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Nic, Lizzie & Nell Rayner

Backed with £100.00 On Mar 18, 2016

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Rachel Frederickson

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