Esme’s Autism Journey

Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Jul 17, 2016

It's been a long time since I wrote an update, it's been more work than I imagined running a home based ABA programme.

Those that follow us on facebook will have seen more regular updates and the wonderful news that Esme will be starting school in September with her ABA tutors supporting her. Our local authority have agreed to let us use the funds typically used for a teaching assistant on Esme accessing ABA in school with her current tutors. We are delighted to have found a wonderful mainstream school who are supportive of this approach. Esme will start slowly and we will take things at her pace while still doing some home based therapy sessions too working on school based targets,

We will still be running a full programme at home over the summer holidays to keep teaching Esme the crucial skills she will need for school. We are still accepting donations and have a sale on over at www.raspberriesandraindrops.bigcartel.com to raise the extra funds to keep us going until September.

As always Thank You so much to everyone who has supported us this far, Esme wouldn't be where she is without your support.

Chrissy

x

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Mar 05, 2016

We've opened a shop for continued fundraising for Esme's ABA therapy!

Remember all those wonderful items that were created to support us during our bike ride last summer well they are now all available in one place with every penny going directly to Esme therapy.

There's also the autism awareness tee's that I created last year with Cheryl Rawlings and other goodies that have been very kindly donated by wonderful British designers and makers.

You can see everything thats available at www.raspberriesandraindrops.bigcartel.com

Guilt free shopping ;-)

Thank You as always for your support. Please feel free to spread the word of our little shop.

xx

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Feb 21, 2016

We have signed up with easy fundraising, it really is an amazing and easy way to fundraise for Esme's therapy while just going about your usual online shopping, and it doesn't cost you anything. All you have to do is sign in and install the reminder toolbar and that's it. Every time you shop online the reminder toolbar will tell you if you can raise donations for Esme and you just click activate. All major online retailers and stores are signed up so raising pennies and pounds really couldn't be any easier. We would be so grateful for your support!

You can sign in here www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/esmemathew


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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Jan 29, 2016

Esme's dad is taking part in Tough Guy this Sunday 31st January along with friends Andy Plummer and Grant Pearson!

They are all very kindly supporting Esme and asking for any donations and sponsorship to be made here. All donations will be used for applied behavioural analysis (ABA) therapy which has been crucial in teaching Esme to start talking as well as teaching her other vital life skills. This therapy is the one that works for Esme and anything that you can spare will contribute to us being able to keep going with this life changing therapy.

The course they will be tackling is 9.2 miles and includes over 200 obstacles. Over 7000 people will be taking part in the race and approximately half don't manage to finish. They are all determined to complete the course so please support them and Esme if you can. We will be very proud to see them all finish!

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Jan 22, 2016

Esme has been doing wonderfully!

She is currently doing around 20+ hours a week of therapy at the moment and is working so well with her tutors who are absolutely amazing. They adore Esme and she loves playing with them, getting piggy backs and goo and gymnast ribbon.

In just four months Esme has gone from only sporadically saying single words when prompted for an item in sight to requesting things she wants, that she can't see and in actual sentences!

Sentences!

They might be short sentences but they are sentences non the less and that progress has been amazing to witness. My wonderful little girl is now able to come to me and say 'I want a ..... please'. That's huge! That's meaningful and purposeful communication, they are words that mean so so much to both of us. They mean she has her own voice, a way of getting her needs met, a way of making choices for herself.

Here are just a few of the words I now get on a daily basis:

'No, I don't want it'
'I want cake please' (she very rarely gets cake but she never gives up)!
'I want juice'
'I want to go in car'
'I want dinner'
'I want to watch peppa pig'
'I want to go sleep'
'I want to lie down'
'Yes'
'I want the phonics song'

She is repeating so much more of what other people say too. She's able to repeat most words said to her even if she hasn't heard the word before, is singing whole nursery rhymes and is even showing an interest in phonics.

I feel like I've waited so long to hear these words, it amazes me every time she asks me for something, I feel like we can have little conversations. That's wonderful. I look forward to these conversations turning in to her telling my how she feels and what she thinks and how she views the world but for now I am delighted with the 'I wants'!

As always THANK YOU. Her words are possible because of your kindness! I wish there was something greater than those two little words to express our gratitude.








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Wonderful progress. The power of words, development we generally take for granted. Looking forward to reading the next instalment. Fantastic Esme & well done Chrissy, none of this journey would have been possible without your determination & love for your daughter. Lorna x

Lorna Robinson

Update posted by Jan 23

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Heartwarmingly wonderful! Great work (as always) Esme xx

Alice Guy

Update posted by Jan 22

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Sep 08, 2015

A big Thank You to Hamish & The Hen for creating this beautiful print. 5 from every print goes to Esme. So far 65.00 has been raised! Thanks so much to everyone who has purchased so far, you can still get this print over at Hamish & The Hen now!

Image of Ride Bikes With You... / A4 Print / Esme's Journey

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Aug 25, 2015

I can't even begin to express my gratitude for all the support, love and wonderful comments that have been sent our way, not just while Esme and me were on our journey but in the run up to starting and still now. It feels like Esme has a team of supporters right behind her guiding and helping her push ahead and taking me along for the ride. She's doing amazing, she is obviously still very much struggling in all the areas she was before we started this journey and will probably continue to for some time, but I feel a shift - maybe it's in me, in my hope and desire and sheer determination to actively get her the help she so deserves, maybe it's the knowledge that so many others seem to genuinely be invested in her future not only through donations but emotionally, maybe I'm just having a good day, maybe she's picking up on my new lease of hope, whatever it is I'm going to try and keep a hold on this feeling as I also sense I'm going to need it in the coming weeks and months as we start therapy.

Thank You so much for taking us into your lives and hearts and caring enough to help a little girl most of you have never met. I will be forever grateful and I will know that I have you all to thank when the day comes that my daughter can tell me she loves me, when the day comes that she will acknowledge that other child trying so hard to play with her, when the day comes that she spontaneously asks me for something she wants.

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Aug 23, 2015

We made it, we actually made it. We hit 500 miles on Thursday 20th August while doing the Fallowfield loop in Manchester.

I still can't quite believe we did it, me & her and the bike and the trailer and the camping and the challenges and the joy and the rain and the beach and the hills and the love, all the love that she gives and inspires and the love that has kept me pushing forward through it all.

I have loved our raspberry rest stops and seeing her enjoy every aspect of living outdoors. The slower pace of life that comes from spending your days outdoors with a 3 year old who loves to stop and watch the trees blowing in the wind or look for that perfect leaf.

500 miles is a lot of miles and some of them were the toughest miles I've ever travelled both physically and emotionally but I would do each one over again and again to give Esme the opportunities she so deserves.

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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Aug 10, 2015

We've had a few more incidents since our last update with the trailer attachment coming off the bike and needing to be fixed and trails that were not suitable for a bike let alone a bike with a trailer, and gates - lots and lots of gates that are really difficult to get through with a trailer on the bike, either I get hit or the trailer gets hit and we ultimately end up getting stuck.

We've managed to get to 325 miles now though so Esme & I are way past the half way mark. We got to meet new friends and see lots of New Forest ponies and have ice lollies on Bournemouth beach. Esme is still really enjoying spending all her days outdoors and sleeping in the tent come rain or shine. I still ache everyday and although I'm also enjoying all the time outdoors I'm not too happy about camping in the rain!

Thank You so much to everyone who has offered their support, their homes and a meal and to everyone who has donated and for all the wonderful words of encouragement we really do appreciate it!


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Update posted by Chrissy Mathew On Aug 10, 2015

I originally set up a PayPal account for Esme so that it was clear that donations were being made to her but I have had to change the account to mine as PayPal have closed Esme's account as she can't have her own account under the age of 18. Any PayPal payments will now go into my PayPal account ([email protected]) and of course be sent directly to Esme's fundraising bank account.

Sorry about this but it's the easiest get around for now.

Thanks

Chrissy & Esme

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Hand painted Thank You card by Esme. £50.00 funds one afternoon session of therapy.

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Hand Painted Card by Esme, Personalised Monkey and Mole Moccasins by Chrissy. £250 funds one weeks worth of therapy sessions.

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Thanks to everyone who has donated as part of the Tough Guy fundraiser we really appreciate all your support!

Chrissy Mathew

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Thank You Nana, Grandad, Carol & Alan for sponsoring Daddy!

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Well done Pete, great achievement, all the hard work and training worth it.

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