A mother whose son is struggling with a severe form of autism says he is showing signs of improving after starting unique therapy sessions.
Young Ballyronan boy, David McGeehan, who will be nine next month, relies on his parents Ella and Connor for every day tasks such as feeding, eating and going to the toilet.
Back in March the Mail highlighted the family’s goal of sending David to the Integrative Therapy Centre for Autism in Lucan Co. Dublin.
Two months later he has started receiving some therapy at the centre thanks to the support and donations of local people.
“We started so far ABA therapy and sensory therapy. We put pressure on speech. Next will be toileting training and self helping, like dressing, undressing,” Ella explained.
After just three sessions David is showing promising signs of responding to sensory stimuli such as light and knowing when it is time for bed.
Immediately after the first therapy, Ella noticed an improvement when they arrived home and David went to get his shoes for a walk and pulled the curtains on the windows, something he has never done before.
His mum says she is delighted with his progress to date but wished the facility was closer to home as she has a five hour round trip to make which leaves both her and David exhausted.
Both she and husband Connor, who completed the Belfast marathon to raise funds, are hoping he will soon be able to say a few words.
Ella, a Polish national, feels her son needs more therapy but is believes they are in a better place today than three months ago.
“People ask me what my biggest dream is and I tell them it is to have my child talk to me,” she continued.
“Some would like a big lottery win, I want my child to speak to me.”
Ella said David is “working hard” during the therapy sessions and is paying attention and trying to form words.
Meanwhile she along with other family members are still raising money towards the cost of the treatment at the Lucan centre.
They have already paid almost £3,000 towards therapy which covers them until the end of June.
They will then need around £3,000 for another month’s treatment.
To help cover the cost the family has organised a special family fun day on June 2 at Ballyronan Marina Centre between 12pm and 4pm with a range of events for all age groups.
Ella would like everyone in the community to attend as all the funds raised will go towards helping David attend the therapy sessions.
“It is hard for us but I know that I have to work for everything to change and we can be a happy family and he will be able to say what he wants and needs,” she added.