Villamizar family photo

Villamizar Success Story

"OH MY GOODNESS. I couldn't describe it I just cried I asked her again to call me mommy and she didn't." Daphne was 3 ½ years old when she first called her mother mommy. For parents of typical children, this is a much earlier milestone, and one Lidia had been longing for since her daughter's birth. "It was really a good day, a blessing."

Daphne wasn't diagnosed until she was 3 ½, but Lidia has been advocating for her since the beginning. "I used to be a teacher and I know a little bit about psychology and the milestones that she was supposed to be at; since I didn't have the support of the pediatrician, I started researching how to help her. I knew there was something wrong."

It was through her research that Lidia found Project Autism. "What brought me to Project Autism is looking for activities, looking for something we can have maybe for free or we can partner somehow and do it and thank God you have those activities that you know sometimes we are unable to cover with our budgets."

One year of full time ABA therapy for a child with autism can be expensive, an amount most families are unable to pay. Project Autism aims to provide scholarships for this needed therapy through your support. "It would make a huge difference," says Lidia about the possibility of a scholarship. "The therapy is life-changing."

Lidia hopes that in the future, her daughter "can be respected the way she is," and she will support her in meeting her goals. Her family falls into a common gap. Their income level isn’t high enough to cover therapy, their insurance company doesn't cover treatment, and their income isn’t low enough to receive government assistance. Still, they have hope and have found solace in a family support group.

For now, Daphne's family supports her growth in the best way they can. They research and use ABA materials found online through Project Autism and other sources. An ECI caseworker kept in touch and has provided resources. Daphne's PPCD teacher at school has been "the best teacher in the world."

Lidia has a message for Project Autism's supporters: "Thank you for the support. Without (you) we couldn't do it and without (you) the activities would not be possible. Thank you for believing that (you) can create an impact in families...you do!"

If you would like more information on how you can help Project Autism create an impact in families, please visit http://projectautism.org/participate.

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