Most parents take everyday chat with their children for granted – but for one mum helping her son find his voice is her dream.
Amy Muir’s son Connor, 8, was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old.
The Stonehaven youngster is unable to communicate due to the condition.
The Mill o’ Forest Primary School pupil uses a picture and card system to communicate with family members and knows a limited amount of words.
Now mum, Amy, 33, who runs the Stappit Fu eatery on Montrose Road, Inverbervie, is hoping to raise £3,000, and said the money would allow her and dad Andy, 43, to take Connor to Wales for applied behaviour analysis (ABA), something which could help him learn to talk.
She said: “Connor is a very happy boy but recently has become stressed at times.
“We really feel this is because he can’t tell us what’s wrong.
“Because he can’t talk, he can’t tell us what’s wrong, what his name is, what he did at school or what’s sore.
It’s heart-breaking for us and him.
“Connor can say a number of words but he doesn’t link them to make sentences, and it’s not his preferred way to communicate.
“He can use PECS, a picture card system which gives him a means to communicate with us, which we hope will feed in to him learning to talk.
“We think he is more aware of who he is now and that he is different.
“We sometimes can tell he’s just bursting to say something but nothing comes.
“It’s heart-breaking for us and him.”
To help raise the money for her son, Amy has set up fundraising events, and will run the Loch Ness marathon in September.
A clairvoyant evening is due to take place on April 27 at the Station Hotel in Stonehaven and in Huntly and District Ex-Service Men’s Club on June 29.
Amy said that Connor’s siblings Maddie, 7, and three-year-old Ritchie, are a huge help to him.
She said: “Connor is a huge flight risk. This is a massive concern to our family and we long for the day Connor understands not to run away from the house.
“He has almost been knocked over a few times, which is terrifying.
“We have locks, alarms, we’ve tried GPS devices, but since Connor is getting older and wiser he knows where we hide keys and how to sneak away when we’re loading the car.
“Maddie and Ritchie are an asset to him.
“His preference is not to play with others but they never give up on him, often forcing play and cuddles sometimes glean a wee smile, which is an absolute delight.”
Amy said she was deter-mined to show the world what her son was capable of by going through ABA.
I want him to be happy and safe.
She added: “Sky Bound Therapies are based in Wales and they offer a five-day consultation where Connor will be thoroughly assessed and an ABA plan then put in place.
This initial assessment will cost £3,000.
“After the consultation we will then have to hire ABA therapists to see Connor a few times a week which is then an added cost.
“I don’t like asking for help, but seeing Connor so stressed recently, I, as his mum – his advocate – feel I need to do something.
“I want him to be happy and safe.
“It would be easy to give up on Connor – it’s easy to assume he doesn’t understand or isn’t capable, but believe me there’s more to him than meets the eye.
“I will fight for Connor all the way and I’m determined to show the world what he’s capable of.”
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Posted by Connor's Voice on Thursday, 5 April 2018