Rossland resident hopes to find daughter’s voice

Rossland resident Genevieve Fortin is raising funds to help her daughter Mika, who was born autistic.

Rossland resident Genevieve Fortin is raising funds to help her daughter Mika

Rossland resident Geneviève Fortin is raising funds to help her daughter Mika, who was born autistic.

Fortin is fundraising by way of a painting by Stéphanie Gauvin which depicts a photo of Mika and her father on Record Ridge.

The painting, entitled Finding Mika’s Voice, The Mountain Ahead is for sale for $100 each and the money goes to the fund.

Fortin said they want to get Mika into an intensive program at the Son-Rise Center which is in New York.

There professionals work with both parents and children to help in the most thorough way possible.

Fortin already did a week there, without Mika.

“There is a lot to work on before you bring your child there, they like to see that you have a solid home program first, so that you can really benefit from their program,” she said. “There are a lot of Canadians and families from around the world doing it. It’s been around since 1978.”

The family made Son-Rise program for their son, and it worked to bring the child out of autism. Fortin said there are a lot of stories like that coming out of Son-Rise.

In B.C. the only therapy that is approved by the Autism Funding Unit. But Fortin said that approach didn’t work for them.

“ABA really didn’t call to us at all,” she said. “By the time she was second year in school I thought OK let’s do this.”

Fortin compared it to dog training, you repeat something until they do it on their own.

“It didn’t work. It didn’t work for her, it didn’t work for us,” she said.

Then her education assistant, who works with the family at home, had been researching other posible therapies and she found the Son-Rise method.

It took Fortin a couple months to really give the program a look, because to her, it seemed like it was too good to be true.

“It’s not a promise that the program will heal your child, but it can,” she said.

“I went back to school and did special ed. I went from a place where I didn’t know what to think or how to approach children with disabilities in our sociaty to a place where we just have to accept it and just accept them for who they are,” she said. “They won’t heal, but we can help them be in our world, and then this program tells me that, yeah, you have to accept them, but we can also have hope that they will reach our world and become active participating members of our society and not need help anymore.”

Finally she went over and did the parent training and found it was amazing. She said in ABA, the method is to try to get rid of the abnormal behaviour of an autistic child, replace it, but at Son-Rise it’s totally different.

“At Son-Rise, they have a wierd behaviour, I’m going to join in their behaviour, “Fortin said. “Then they notice that you’re there, and not only respecting them , but bridging to their world. Then once you’ve made that bridge then you can ask for a request.”

Fortin said they want to give Mika the tools so that she can go back in 2 -5 years and  join her group again where she is a fully contributing member of her peer group.

Fortin said she wants the whole town to know why she’s doing this and endorse it.

She added some people would say that socializaton would be the best, something she tried by putting Mika in daycare when she was two. But she compares the socializing skills that Mika lacks to playing an instrument.

“If I want to learn guitar I can’t just go hang out with people who play guitar, I have to stay at home and learn the chords and practice,” she said. “Then I can go and hang out with people that play the guitar.”

Fortin needs to raise $15,000, half of which has been raised so far.

“We’re almost half way,” she said. “So when we get the money then we’ll book a week.”

Fortin will be doing a parent-only workshop in October.

To order the painting click here or call 250-362-5214.

 

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Castlegar council set to rule on three retail cannabis proposals

Residents have until Dec. 27 to comment on the business proposals

West Kootenay police take 18 impaired drivers off the road

Eight drivers were criminally impaired, says Sgt. Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Trail church asks families to tend the Christmas kettles

Volunteering teaches kids how to be generous of heart, if they can’t be generous of wallet

UPDATE: B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read