London’s first experience at Marcus Autism Center was in the Feeding Program. Children with autism often experience difficulties with tasting, swallowing and selecting food. The program implemented a scientific-based process to help with introducing new foods. London was a quick learner, and the staff made breakthroughs in helping ease him into the textures of different fruits. He eats almost everything now and has a special love for apples.
After finishing the Feeding Program, London began at the Language and Learning Program. Three times a week for two and a half hours, he has intensive one-on-one sessions at Marcus Autism Center that use an approach to learning called applied behavior analysis (ABA). London is incredibly sweet-natured and gentle, and his desire to succeed is reflected in everything he does. When he has successes he loves praise from his therapists and family.
Philanthropic support not only helps change the lives and futures of kids like London, but it also helps take the strain off of the families of children with ASD. London’s scholarship has been life-changing for his family. His mother worked two jobs for years to help pay for his treatment prior to getting into the center.
Private therapy bills add up quickly at $150/hour. “Having a child is expensive, and everyone prepares for that reality,” Rachel said. “But most people aren’t aware of how expensive it is to help a child with ASD achieve a quality of life that other families take for granted—and that every kid deserves.”
Indeed, right now the average lifetime cost of a child with ASD is $3.5 million. London’s father worked equally hard, and Lisa quit her job to help take care of London and ensure he makes all of his treatment appointments.
“It’s because of someone else’s generosity that my child will have the future he deserves,” Rachel said. “My entire family is out there working as hard as we can for London, but we couldn’t do this without Marcus Autism Center.”