My son has been taking private music therapy lessons and group dance and music lessons at Beyond Words: Music & Dance Center for many years. The staff has been very helpful in teaching him to take turns and express his feelings with instruments and his language device. My son is nonverbal but he is able to imitate and repeat music pitches and rhythm. He is so excited to attend his classes weekly and our family has been blessed with scholarships and grants to fund his programs. We appreciate all the support given our family for his love of music. Thank you!
I can’t express how much your support meant to our son, now age 10, and to our family. Through your Foundation’s support, he was able to gain self-confidence and improve his large motor skills as he learned to swim and perform karate. Thank you for giving him the opportunity to experience what typical kids experience and feel a sense of accomplishment and boosted self-esteem.
While other grant programs focus on traditional therapies or picking up where health insurance leaves off, the Beyond Words Foundation for Autism understands that there is more to each child than a diagnosis. Its mission acknowledges the hardship and burden of an autistic child’s needs on a family but helps in a unique way to serve the entire child and give them opportunities to put the needs of the child first, not the diagnosis and to enjoy activities and exposure to alternative outlets for developing their sense of self and identity.
Thank you for the 2014-2015 Scholarship. We used the money for our son for his adaptive swim lessons. He loves swimming and is now a great swimmer and I can feel safe when he’s in the water. We really appreciate the scholarship to help pay for some of his lessons.
In 2015-16, our daughter received $420 to help offset the expenses of therapeutic horseback riding through Pegasus Farms in Hartville, Ohio. This funding was vital to our family at the time, allowing her to participate in an activity that would strengthen her physically and emotionally, as well as giving her a sense of accomplishment. Our daughter still participates in riding at Pegasus today.
When we first received the funding in the fall of 2015, we had only had a diagnosis for a couple of months. Our daughter has a rare chromosomal deletion, resulting in autism like symptoms, hypotonia, epilepsy, and intellectual impairment. It was a difficult time and we, as parents, were grieving. Our money was going to cover medical bills and testing, therapies, and braces for her ankles. She is our fourth child, and because of the rarity of her diagnosis, many therapies and activities placed a financial burden on our family as insurance did not cover them because autism was not the official diagnosis. Beyond Words allowed us to enroll her in Pegasus, knowing some supplemental funding would help us to make it possible financially.
We recognize that there was a period of reorganization that took place (within the Foundation) and our funding was not able to continue as we live in Stark County. But we are grateful for the help that we received from Beyond Words Foundation for Autism in the past and we hope that this organization is able to secure funding to continue on long into the future. Donors can truly make a difference to families like ours who want their special child to live life as fully as possible.
My daughter was the lucky recipient of funding from the Beyond Words Foundation for Autism Scholarship Program. She is a sweet 5 year old girl who has always had a love for music. When faced with her autism diagnosis, our family was overwhelmed by the high cost of services that were necessary to help her. We would not have been able to afford music therapy and summer music and social skills group for her without the support of this scholarship. Communicating with others can be difficult for my daughter at times, but with music as a common language she can come out of her shell in group environments. She continues to thrive and grow, her language and social skills building more every day. We are so grateful for the generosity of this scholarship fund, and know that my daughter would not be where she is now without this help.
David & Jill, Parents
Our daughter has been receiving adaptive dance lessons at Beyond Words since 2014. This has truly been a special experience for her. She loves music, so these classes are really fun and motivating for her. She definitely looks forward to them. Beyond Words has offered her a program that has allowed her to learn dance steps at her own pace and skill level. She has been blessed to have been able to work with both Erin and Emily. Our daughter has absolutely loved working with both of them, as they are both very gifted teachers. We have seen vast improvement in her abilities since she first began taking classes. She has improved her body awareness, balance, strength, and coordination. Dance has helped her with her understanding of positional concepts such as right and left and front and behind.
We were very grateful to receive a scholarship from the Beyond Words Foundation. We are parents to two children with Autism, including our daughter. The financial demands that our family has faced have been great in order to provide the therapies and education that our children require. Unfortunately, she could not have continued in this dance program without this very important funding. We so appreciate that she was able to continue to do something that she loves while addressing some of her developmental needs. This is a quality program that is close to home. All in all, this has been a very positive experience. We are so glad to have found Beyond Words for our daughter.
My son received $400 from the Beyond Words Foundation Autism Scholarship Program in the summer of 2015. He used this scholarship to do therapeutic horseback riding through Sunshine Communities. He LOVED every minute of it! He especially loved the horse he rode which was named Blue! He enjoyed the guided walks around the horse barn, tacking his horse and especially giving Blue treats for a job well done at the end of his session! Not only did he learn how to ride a horse but he learned an appreciation for all animals, large and small, through this program. He met bunnies, goats, alpacas, pigs and cats at the barn, too. This opportunity was ONLY made possible by a scholarship from the Beyond Words Foundation. Our family thanks you very much for this experience.
Beyond Words helped my family when we were lost. We were given an initial diagnosis when we anticipated something else and it sent us into a tail spin. The scholarship enabled us to get programming for our son where he could be himself, do something he enjoyed and not be looked upon as the weird kid. It was the first time, in a long time, where we didn’t dread going somewhere lest we bother others or catch unwanted stares.
Our son has progressed nicely over the past few years. He likes an eclectic array of music, is gifted in both reading and math, and has become a solid wrestler- recently acquiring All-American status at a national wrestling tournament. His diagnosis hit us like a ton of bricks and felt like a death sentence. He is still socially awkward and doesn’t have many friends, but he is a good boy, with a good heart who likes to please and work hard. Beyond Words may have helped us as parents, more than it helped our son. For that, we will always be appreciative.
My son received funds from the Beyond Words Foundation for Autism. He enjoys adaptive aquatic therapy with Rec2Connect. This helps him learn to swim as well safety techniques for summer long fun. See how relaxed he is? It is programs like the Beyond Words Foundation for Autism that help parents facilitate the growth and development of their special needs children. I am grateful for this program.
Receiving the scholarship from the Beyond Words Foundation meant so much to our family. There are many incremental costs that are required when raising a special needs child, and having this extra help from the scholarship was so much appreciated!
Beyond Words created a magical place for our daughter; one where she could go to and feel nothing but pure joy and happiness. They incorporated our daughter's physical therapy goals into her dance routines so each and every session was one that benefited our daughter's body. However, they did so much more. They helped create genuine friendships for our daughter that otherwise she wouldn't have made. They helped build our daughter's self esteem and confidence. Beyond Words gave our daughter a place where she could shine and as a result, she felt no limitations. Thank you so much to this wonderful organization for helping so many families like ours. Thank you for giving our daughter the opportunity that you did. We will forever be grateful.
Our family was so grateful to receive a scholarship from Beyond Words Foundation to assist with aquatic therapy for our son. We wanted him to understand the importance of water safety and eventually learn how to swim. We had tried traditional swimming lessons in the past, but he needed more individual attention and an experienced therapist to keep him focused.
Children on the autism spectrum need a lot of therapies that are not covered by insurance, so it was helpful to receive some financial assistance as we were also paying for speech and occupational therapy at the time. Our son quickly made progress in his aquatic therapy sessions and learned how to swim independently. He is now able to enjoy spending times at beaches and pools and we feel confident knowing that he is a proficient swimmer. The Beyond Words Foundation really helped make that possible with the scholarship they provided.
Receiving a scholarship meant so much to our family. At the time we received the scholarship, our son was newly diagnosed with Autism. We were overwhelmed by the number of services he needed, the money necessary to accomplish everything, and adjusting to our "new normal". One of our major priorities was getting him involved in 1:1 swim lessons. It was a major safety issue for our family. He was drawn to water and loved it, but he lacked the understanding of how dangerous it was to just jump right in. With the help of the Beyond Words Foundation scholarship, he was able to start lessons and gain skills very quickly. It is incredible how fast a child can gain skills when paired with professionals who are educated and patient. I'm so happy to say that at this point he is able to swim independently and he loves jumping off the diving board. We still have him in lessons just to practice and refine his skills. None of this would have been possible without the support we received from the Beyond Words Foundation. It really was more than the scholarship money....it was someone acknowledging that they understood we were in need and they were here to help.
Our son is an energetic 9 year old with a unique personality. He loves the outdoors and would spend hours in the snow, water table or pool if allowed. He loves the beach and the sand. He is very bright. Math is a strong suit for him. And anything related to mechanics or how things are built is a favorite of his. He can talk your ear off about garage doors and motors. He will inspect your garage door and motor, run it up and down and give you pointers of what to fix or replace. Socially, our son is really expanding his abilities to interact with other kids, classmates and even kids he meets at the library or park. He is becoming more outgoing in talking to others and inviting them to play. We are very proud of him.
Over the years, our son has attended many different therapies to help guide him and us through the world of autism. He has been to occupational, therapy, speech, behavioral, social, art, music, horse and aquatic therapies. All of these helps serve a patient with an autism spectrum disorder. Water safety was and still is a very important life lesson we want him to learn and retain. When he was 3 years old or so, he started taking therapeutic lessons with Rec2Connect. And he has continued ever since then. The growth we have seen in his water abilities is amazing. He finally started swimming with no assistance in the shallow end. He used to cling to the instructor for many years. And he now can put his head in the water if wearing goggles and an ear band. For so long, we could not figure out this particular anxiety. Without the trained instructors, we would not have thought of an ear band. Recently, he had to take a break over the winter from lessons because he developed a new anxiety (as many kids on the spectrum do) about his toes getting ‘dry skin’ from the water. He wore water socks in the pool and even bathtub to help but this even stopped working. It took some time this summer, but he is getting in the pool without socks on! So maybe returning to aquatic therapy can happen in the future.
It is hard to remember, but we were introduced to the Beyond Words Foundation via Rec2Connect or possibly at a local provider fair. Many of these therapies are not covered by health insurance. It is financially costly but most important to continue these treatments for your child. We applied to the foundation for the scholarship in 2017 and were graciously awarded funds to put towards the fees for the aquatic therapy. This generous amount helped immensely and freed up cash funds to use for another therapy at that time. We will be forever grateful for this scholarship because it helped give our son a few more months in the pool at a time when we had to decide how to route our money for even basics like food, shelter and medications in addition to therapies.
Foundations like Beyond Words Foundation are a godsend to families like ours. The donations made to these foundations are also a godsend. We appreciate every penny. And we always say we will donate back to these foundations or other organizations that raise money for children with special needs. We donate when we can, whether with money, time, or spreading awareness. We do what we can for our kids to get them the best treatment and best outcome in life.
We were recipients of a scholarship in 2015. Every little bit helps.
This scholarship helped to pay for our son's swimming instructions that year. Now, he is 14 years old and a strong avid swimmer. These lessons , I feel helped to boost his confidence and body awareness very early on. He has a skill now that many do not. My son is not your typical team sports young man, however, I hope that this strong ability will just be one more thing to help him find his " tribe," of peers as he gets older.