Andos Matanza Autism Awareness Fundraiser!
$7,785 raised
111% of $7k goal
34 contributors
69 Weeks running

My name is Danielle Matanza, I am the Practice Coordinator for TMT Audit.  I have two young boys, Sabin (age 5) and Andos (age 3).  Like all moms to young children, my life can be quite hectic and is made even more interesting having a child with Autism!  Andos was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years old.  Autism is a neurological disorder that causes delays and difficulties in social communication, speech and language, which requires specialized learning. Andos has a wonderful team of therapists and educators that can support him with the specialized learning but these therapies are very expensive and parents who are on the government waitlists (like the Matanzas!) are often left to pay for the specialized education out of pocket. To give you an idea, Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy (ABA) for 15 hours/week will cost parents $3,300/month!

A little about Andos

 Andos is an awesome 3 year old! He has many strengths, he is happy and joyful and is a true lover of the outdoors. In the past few months he has grown close to big brother Sabin and together are keeping their parents on their toes.  When Andos was growing up, one of the first things we noticed differently about his development was his delayed speech and language skills.  Currently Andos's receptive language has continued to improve and develop, his expressive language remains significantly behind his peers and our number one therapy goal is to focus on expressive language and expanding his vocabulary and use of his own voice.  Andos is quite comfortable using every other means necessary to communicate over using his words, we know and believe he can do it but needs some extra coaching to get him there!


How does Andos struggle? Andos has a difficult time focusing on tasks. His struggle with focus and attention makes it difficult for him to learn age appropriate things and develop on path with his peers. Andos, like many children with Autism, struggles with speech and language, both receptive and expressive language. This can be very frustrating for him as he struggles to communicate his thoughts and needs.  Andos also processes the sensory world differently than most children.  Andos is what we call a "Sensory Seeker", he is always looking for different types of sensory input.  For Andos that means lots of running and climbing and spinning.  He also loves visual sensory input, so you can often find him looking at objects at different angles, or manipulating them in different ways.  This type of sensory seeking behavior can be a struggle to both Andos and his educators as it effects his ability to focus on tasks and absorb information being taught to him. 


What does Andos need? ABA Therapy is the application of basic behavioral practices (positive reinforcement, teaching in small steps, prompting, and repeated practice) to facilitate the development of language, social interactions, independent living skills, and other aptitudes. Simply, Andos requires intensive one-to-one therapy. This therapy is delivered daily and research shows, to be effective requires 15-30 hours/week.  This September, Andos will join Making Small Talk, a small education institution that will be providing his ABA therapy every morning.  From there Andos will spend afternoons at his local mainstream school, St. Joseph's Catholic School in Uxbridge.  Our goal is to eventually have Andos become fully integrated in his mainstream school over the next few years and will continue to have assistance as his needs change and develop over the years.


Thank you very much for your donation and the impact you are making in Andos's life.  Together we believe we can help him access the tools and services he needs to grow into his full potential! 



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