Walking the line for autistic Blaine

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A local family is re-launching a fundraising drive to continue specialist autism treatment which has begun to unlock the door of their young son’s world.

Blaine Innes (8), suffers from Autistic Spectrum Disorder and has hyper/hypo-sensitive hearing and limited communication skills.

However with his family to support him, Blaine has endured the journey to Massachusetts for five day intensive treatment sessions at the Son-Rise Autism Treatment Center twice already, in 2008 and in 2009 and on each occasion the family has seen a marked improvement in Blaine’s condition.

Blaine’s father, Graeme, told the Herald: “The treatment he received at the Son-Rise Centre helped tremendously, eye contact increased, he became more vocal and even managed to say mum for the first time while he was in Massachusetts.”

Now the family is raising funds to continue the treatment in their own home that has a playroom adapted to mirror the room within the treatment centre in Massachusetts, by bringing a specialist to Blaine.

Graeme continued: “The treatment will be an extension of the treatment started in the USA.

“It involves a specialist child facilitator coming to Fraserburgh and working with Blaine in his own home for around six hours a day over the course of three to five days.

“The journey to the Son-Rise Centre was horrendous, it was very traumatic for Blaine who had his hands over his ears whilst on the aeroplane. He also never slept, ate or drank while travelling.

“However, fully trained outreach workers are now based in the UK, so with the specialist coming here Blaine wont have the trauma of the journey but he will get the same benefit.”

Bringing a specialist to Fraserburgh will be costly for the family who will have to pay for the outreach workers travelling arrangements, accommodation and subsistenance, costing up to £2,000 for the 5 days treatment.

This is a fraction of the £12,000 cost that a trip to the USA involves.

Therefore they are re-launching their fund-raising campaign on Saturday June 18, when Graeme will ‘Walk the line’ for Blaine.

“I will be walking the old railway line from Maud to Fraserburgh, a distance of 16 miles on Saturday June 18 and sponsor sheet forms are available in local shops now, said Graeme.

“This is the first planned event, with a race night to follow after the summer holidays and also the long awaited release of a further recipe book in November.”

The specialist treatment provided by the child facilitators has seen astounding improvements in children’s conditions, with increased communication and skill acquisition far beyond what most would have predicted.

Graeme added: “The previous trips to the USA were only made possible by the generosity of local people. This has started to unlock Blaine’s world and he is becoming more vocal all the time.

“I know that with continued therapy he will speak one day.”