Stone, like his name, is solid, resilient, and steadfast. Even before birth, Stone endured challenges like IUGR, intrauterine growth restriction. Born at 4lbs 11oz, his body struggled to maintain his blood sugar resulting in almost 4 weeks in the NICU. Between 15 to 18 months Stone began receiving services for a severe language and developmental delay. By age 2, he was diagnosed with a severe Semantic Language Disorder and developmental delay with the local school district. At age 3, Stone was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, delayed milestone in childhood, and severe expressive and receptive language disorder by Child Study Center and Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
It wasn’t until he began receiving intensive speech, occupational, and ABA therapies that Stone’s life began to flourish. He learned to communicate, improved fine and gross motor skills, and improved behaviorally. Unfortunately, the cost of the therapies that a child with ASD requires can be astronomical. As if the worry and emotional stress that a family endures with a special needs child isn’t difficult enough, the financial burden is an added weight.
Because of the generosity of the Variety Grant- The Children’s Charity of Texas, Stone is able to continue his intense therapy regimen while his parents and grandparents, who have helped cover therapy expenses, receive some financial relief.