HEAL Foundation Grants Awarded in 2007
These funds are being used for scholarships for children in financial need to participate in Hippotherapy. This treatment uses the multidimensional movement of the horse to improve neurological functioning and sensory processing. This grant fulfills the treatment and education pillars of the HEAL Foundation.
Riding the Wave of Autism Surf Camp
Surf camp was conducted over four days this summer at Jacksonville Beach. This camp gave children with autism an opportunity to participate in an activity that appears inaccessible. Children on the spectrum are often calmed by spending time in the water. The program was a success and we hope to continue it in 2008. Surf camp touches on the treatment and awareness pillars of the HEAL Foundation.
Funds were used to upgrade the pool facility. In particular, a heating pump was added in order to lengthen the season of the aquatic therapy. Swimming therapy improves neuro-motor and sensory-motor functions. This therapy meets the treatment pillar of the HEAL Foundation.
Zoo Walk 2007
This grant covered children’s admission costs for the Zoo Walk 2007, allowing participants to attend free of charge. Zoo Walk is an annual event with a goal of raising awareness of Autism, as well as raising funds for the Austim Society of Greater Jacksonville. This walk meets the education and awareness pillars of HEAL.
Alternative Computer Access Project
Funds will be used to purchase a Desktop PC with a Touch Screen Monitor, a Portable Tablet PC that uses a stylus pen, special needs software, and installation services. By helping these children communicate and learn, the school is satisfying the education and treatment pillars of the HEAL Foundation.
Art for Autism
Funds will provide art supplies for special need classrooms in three area public schools. The art will then be displayed at a local Fernindina Beach Bank as part of a quarterly exhibit. Eventually, this program will be funded from an annual fundraiser where the art is sold. This project, and the Nassau County Autism Foundation, help HEAL comply with its education and awareness pillars.
HEALing Families Therapy Group
Janeen Herskovitz, founder of Moms of Hope and graduate student in marriage and family therapy, has put together a pilot program at HEAL’s request to help moms who have recently received their child’s diagnosis of Autism. The session hopes to create support and coping mechanisms, improve family member relationships and assist the grieving process of these twelve moms. This program match’s the HEAL Foundation’s mission on education and awareness.
HEALing Hands Scholarships
PPPV currently absorbs about $80,000 a year in treatments for families in financial need. This fund would be a “co-pay” specifically targeting children whose families are unable to absorb the high costs of medical treatments. Families would provide detailed information on their finances to the staff, and then a decision would be made based on need. HEAL is grateful to be able to satisfy treatment and prevention pillars through this grant.
Project Chance trains service dogs for individuals. The cost to the family is $1,000. The founder and lead trainer at Project Chance would like to establish a scholarship fund to aid families with a child on the spectrum who are in financial need. Service dogs have proven to be particularly helpful in easing transitions, relieving stress, and providing security to their owners. By providing these scholarship funds, HEAL has touched on both the education and awareness pillars.
The Autism Program
Hope Haven currently provides programs and services to children on the autism spectrum. They currently charge $125 to evaluate children and the costs are over $1,000. Their services are provided on a sliding scale. They would like these funds to help bridge the gap between what the parents are paying, and what the diagnostic tests and services cost. By working with Hope Haven, HEAL fulfills its education and treatment pillars.
Tomatis-sound based therapy
This therapy is an intensive listening program which trains the ears to take in and receive all frequencies of sound which is critical for learning. Grant funds would be used to provide direct one- on- one Tomatis therapy to individuals in need based on a sliding scale. This grant will enable HEAL to meet the treatment pillar of our mission.
Mild Hyperbaric Therapy Effect on Cognitive Function
This is a research project to study Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and its effects on cognition. The study of 30 children on the spectrum will explore the safety, cognitive improvements, and treatment hours needed, of using hyperbaric chambers. This study will be submitted for publication. HEAL is fortunate to have a local partner to fulfill the research pillar.
HEALing Autism through Bowling
This pilot 6 week bowling league for 20-25 children will have therapists facilitating. Social and athletic programs are desperately needed in the autism community. By funding the bowling program, HEAL will meet the awareness and treatment pillars that are so important to our mission.
Horse back riding therapy
Hippotherapy is known to be of significantly greater value to children with ASD than is land based physical therapy. Costs of operating this type of therapy are very high and reimbursement by insurance companies for medically indicated therapy is woefully inadequate. This grant provides scholarships, volunteer co-ordinators, and barn maintenance. Hippotherapy helps HEAL touch on the treatment and awareness pillars.
Little Stars is a local school for children with autism. Like many non-profits, its supplies are occasionally financially out of reach. Little Stars has requested a list of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and educational items. HEAL’s financial assistance to the Little Star Center meets the education and treatment pillars that the foundation is predicated on.