Two Abbotsford kids will be featured on this year’s Variety Show of Hearts Telethon.
Viewers of the telethon will meet six-year-old Ace when his story is featured on Feb. 26, on Global BC. And there will also be an update on Tayla, a 13-year-old who was featured during October’s telethon.
Ace was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay. His mom, Fazilat Jones, has always used a stroller to get him around safely. But he’s recently outgrown the stroller, and Variety was able to step in and provide the family with an adaptive stroller his size.
Jones says the new stroller has been “an absolute lifesaver” and that without it, they wouldn’t be able to get around anywhere.
The stroller has given Ace the opportunity to continue living his busy life, and to be included in activities that he otherwise wouldn’t be able to able to be participate.
Tayla was diagnosed with ADHD and global development delay, and she also presents with many of the signs of autism. She has always had a difficult time reading and understanding social cues, and at times she even appears to show a lack of empathy.
The wait list for an autism diagnosis can be up to three years long right now in B.C., putting off not only diagnosis but access to services, treatment and funding.
Tayla’s grandmother, Georgina Furman, has been caring for Tayla and has been trying to get her the services and treatments she needs in order to thrive and succeed. If they had to wait three years, Tayla would be 15 before she would have the access a diagnosis would provide, along with peace of mind for her and her grandmother.
But Variety has a new Autism Assessment Fund, which has ensured that Tayla will be able to get a diagnosis. The fund helps get private assessments for children.
For more information on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, visit variety.bc.ca.
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