A GoFundMe campaign is underway to assist the Emde family of Midale.
Landon and Katie Emde are the parents of Avery, Jackson and Natalie. The campaign, with the name Therapy and Supports for Avery and Jackson Emde, was created by Dallas Gilliss, and has raised $600 of its $40,000 goal.
Gilliss wrote that Katie Emde is a mom who has given so much of her time to help so many families with children on the autism spectrum and now is the time to support her family.
“When her oldest son Avery was diagnosed with autism, she saw how bad and flawed the system is for children who need extra help, and she hasn’t stopped pushing for these resources,” Gilliss wrote.
She started advocating and helping others in 2016 and made a Facebook page in 2017, named A Journey for Avery. Through this Facebook page, she has connected and helped hundreds of families across the province.
She has raised thousands of dollars for non-profits and is always happy to help any fundraisers, raising money for other families in need, and has even organized a fundraiser to buy Christmas presents for families who were having a hard time during the holidays.
Her advocacy and push for resources for kids on the autism spectrum is endless, Gilliss said.
“It’s very sad how limited therapy is for Saskatchewan. Wait lists for free services are years long,” said Gilliss.
Many can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars in therapy each month. People are unaware of how expensive these private therapies are, as they start at $100-$150 per hour.
“Therapy isn’t always just one hour, it’s hours every day, every week, every month,” said Gilliss.
Avery is nine years old and diagnosed with severe non-verbal autism. Jackson is four years old and is one complex little boy, but undiagnosed.
Jackson requires screening and assessment for autism and other conditions. He also needs speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy, feeding support, physiotherapy, chiropractor spinal adjustments and home supports.
Avery needs chiropractor spinal adjustments, speech therapy, a mobile lift for bathing, a behavioural therapist, water therapy and home supports.
“They say it takes strength to raise a child on the spectrum. What do you do when all your strength is gone?” Gilliss wrote. “What do you do when you have nothing left and feel like an empty shell?”
Both boys are in need of intensive therapy and daily, consistent support to be able to develop coping skills and social skills, along with communication abilities, medical intervention and equipment.
“Our life used to have more joy then chaos. Now because the boys are needed much more then anything we could have ever imagined we are just living a life that has a never-ending amount of stress that is taking a toll on our families mental health & we are unable to financially get both boys the support they need now.”
People can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/therapy-and-supports-for-avery-and-jackson-emde to support the campaign.