AutismWish is a volunteer initiative run by the McCabe family. When our firstborn was just 20 months old, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and showed significant motor and communication delays. As a parent to an autistic child, it quickly became apparent how very few resources are available for those on the spectrum and their families. We were shocked to discover just how much of a financial struggle it was to keep up with all the appointments and specialized equipment/therapeutic items our child needed. Although there were some available resources and financial support options, we could not find a program that helped families provide their autistic children with the simple yet effective toys and sensory items they needed. We decided to create AutismWish as a way to bridge the need between families of autistic children and the therapeutic/sensory items they need.
Our mission is to improve each autistic child's quality of life and increase or maintain their independence by providing them with the therapeutic items they need to continue to develop fine motor, gross motor, and speech skills while also meeting sensory needs.
Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty navigating the day-to-day without the assistance of support or therapeutic services and items. It is typical for a child with autism to attend several hours of therapies a week to include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and ABA Therapy often averaging up to 40 hours a week of therapy alone. As one can imagine, this is very difficult for parents and children to maintain longterm as it is both a strain on schedules and finances. In fact, on average, autism costs an estimated $60,000 a year through childhood (Reference: AutismSpeaks.org). Additional support resources are urgently needed.
AutismWish allows parents of autistic children (Wishers) to create and submit Amazon Wishlists specifically tailored to their child's sensory or therapeutic needs. These may include particular toys or items geared towards supporting autistic children. Once the wishlists have been approved and submitted, we pair the Wishers with Heroes who select items from their Amazon Wishlist to fulfill, thereby assisting the child with at-home access to therapeutic items that can help them develop their skills or provide sensory regulation. By providing these children with the tools they need at home, AutismWish not only directly helps support their development but also provides a free at-home play alternative to parents who are unable to afford or accommodate therapies for their child.