Saturday, May 12, 2007
Autism & ABA - "Life Just Keeps Getting Better" for Jack Fraser
Dealing with it ... autism sufferer Jack Fraser enjoys time with his mum Charmaine. / The Daily Telegraph
In "Autism epidemic being ignored" Sunday Telegraph, May 12, 2007, Zoe Taylor describes the autism epidemic in Australia where a recent federal government-funded review of research into autism concluded there was scientific evidence of the effectiveness of therapies including applied behaviour analysis – which draws on research dating back more than 40 years. Despite knowledge in Australia of the efficacy of ABA as an autism intervention the treatment remains underfunded, good news for those who view autism as a "joy" but bad news for families struggling to cope with the realities of autism, families trying to help their autistic children. Amongst the hardship though are stories such as those of Jack Fraser, a young autistic boy whose family has done whatever was necessary to fund ABA treatment for him, with great results for Jack.
Charmaine and Anthony Fraser had to move from Newcastle to Sydney and cash in their Super twice in order to fund ABA therapy for their son five-year-old son Jack.
The couple, from Wollstonecraft, face annual bills of around $60,000 for the treatment which includes one-on-one home therapy sessions every weekday morning and afternoon.
They have seen vast improvements in Jack, but he is unlikely to be able to attend a mainstream school so they are considering sending him to a specialist private school.
Mrs Fraser said she had no regrets about funding the therapy, but was angry there was no Government help.
She added: "When Jack was diagnosed we were devastated at that thought of what life might be like for him. Now he can talk. ABA is hard work, but it has opened up a whole range of opportunities for him. Life just keeps getting better."