Mum's plight: garage sale for daughter's autism therapy
THE contents of Lyn Gale's garage laid out for sale this Saturday could hold the key to her daughter's future.
Madison, 7, has moderate to severe autism.
Lyn bathes her, toilets her, washes her hair, ties it back for school, cuts her nails, brushes her teeth, feeds her, dresses her and puts her shoes on.
There's not much Lyn does not do for Madison, even down to reading the signs that she is sick because she cannot communicate how she is feeling.
"She's seven years old but it's like having a baby in many ways," Lyn said.
Madison has benefited from therapy sessions through an Autism Advisor Program which Lyn hoped would one day help her daughter do some of the little things for herself.
But government funding for early intervention programs for autism cut out at age seven.
Since her daughter's birthday in March, Lyn has had to resort to other means to try to finance therapy for Madison.
She has found temporary funding through Inclusive Kids for the horse riding lessons therapy and Medicare offers the cost of five therapy sessions a year, minus the gap fee.
But there is the question of what to do when both of those run out.
At $85 a half hour for speech therapy, $50 a half hour for horse riding, and $120 an hour for occupational therapy, teaching Madison is an expensive business, and unaffordable for a single mother who is unable to work because of the demands of caring for her daughter.
"You would have to be working full-time in a highly paid job, and it's hard to get one of those when you have to be home for your children when they get off the bus at 3pm, and you have to race home when they are unwell at school," she said.
"You would also have to have 12 weeks off a year because there's nobody to care for a special needs child during school holidays. "
Lyn has resorted to holding a garage sale this weekend to try and cover essential therapy fees for the rest of the year.
- Lyn's garage sale, 14 Coronation Ave, Golden Beach, from 8am this Saturday and Sunday.
- For sale: Furniture, including a baby change table with built-in bath, manchester, homewares, children's clothing and toys.
- Lyn cannot accommodate early arrivals to the garage sale and ask that shoppers stick to the strict start time.