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  • Scholarships

     

     

     

    Some of the Scholarships Awarded to Date:

     

    Kim Luoma

    You had me at anxiety. Our little boy is 5. He has been diagnosed with autism (high functioning), moderate ADHD, global delays and sensory processing disorder. This is his first year in kindergarten. He now has anxiety as well. He is anxious to the point where he is picking his fingers until they bleed. He has a hard time communicating due to his anxiety. He also tugs on his shirt so much that it leaves a mark on his neck.  We have been trying different fidgets and gadgets to help reduce the picking and injury. They have not helped much. The pediatrician has offered medication, but we are doing everything in our power to refrain from any chemical interventions. We are hopeful that Buzzies will help our little boy with his anxiety and sensory issues so he can focus more on learning and having fun. 

    Stacy Green

    Hello, my name is Stacy Green. I am the mother of two wonderful boys with autism. Alexander age 8 and Austin age 9. I saw a post from the news about the Buzzies and thought it would be an awesome tool that can help my boys. Alex has Autism, ADHD, anxiety disorder and oral sensory issues. Austin has pretty much the same without the oral issue. I was hoping this could help them focus and help with their anxiety. Alex spends a lot of time out of him normal class because of the issues he has. I would love to see both boys be able to improve in any area that is hard for them, and if this technology is a possible option our family would benefit greatly from it. Both boys have social issues. Alex is the worst. Get gets anxious or overly hyper and it affects his relationship with peers. He tells me that he is lonely and that he had no friends. It makes us very sad. I heard on the news the possibility of reduced price or possibly free devices if the person qualified. We are low income. My husband is the only one that works and I stay home to be able to take the boys to therapy, appointments, school.... or just when they have off days and are unable to go to or stay at school and I have to keep them home instead. We do have 2 boys but even if we could get one it would be greatly appreciated.

    Cicely Gonzalez

    I have had many traumas in my life. It started before I had a choice. At the age of 6 months, my mother and father were having a rocky marriage. My mom was given an ultimatum and she chose to leave me behind. I was raised by my single father, who struggled with his own demons. He was Air Force, Vietnam Veteran and truly should not had been left to raise 2 girls. I am grateful that he did though, but I grew up very quickly and being a child was not an option. I know I have many issues and stress is the main factor. I stress about everything and it has led me to stress about things I have no control over. I've done therapy, I use oils, I've been medicated. But I still struggle with stress daily. I was diagnosed with OCD as a young teenager and that does not make things better. I am married with 2 children and I beleive these traits don't fall far from the tree. My oldest daughter stresses about college and she is a freshman in high school. My youngest has night terrors, and we have found no cure. I need to find something that can help all three of us, that does not come in a bottle or damage our livers.

    Recently my father passed away unexpectedly. I am his executor of his estate, I'm going through Probate and that brings daily challenges that seem to have no end. I stress about money, behaviors, daily chores, work and trying to be the mother I never had. I know I have probably shared too much! I just want you to understand that I want to find something that can help for my stress and truly make me feel better, but not cost me more than I can give. My friend Catina speaks so highly of you and how neuroscience has helped her. Maybe this can help me too!

    Markeisha Paris

    I am a single mother of 3 boys all with disabilities. My youngest son Jordan was diagnosed with Autism at age 3. He has been in therapies since he was 2. He is 9 yrs old non verbal and attends a school for autism. He also has ADHD and anxiety. He is currently have GI problems. I think Jordan would greatly benefit from the buzzie! He has trouble focusing and paying attention. He has many meltdowns and a lot of anxiety. He gets off track very easily and he does quite a bit of stimming. Jordan has tried countless meds and still currently trying them to help him, but the meds either have no affect or he has bad side affects from the meds. It's so hard to take him anywhere, doctors and dentist appointments. Especially when he has to go to the hospital for blood draws, X-rays and ultrasounds. The buzzie sounds awesome and I love for Jordan to be able to get the opportunity to try the buzzie to help him get through everyday life.

     

    Brett Williams

    I saw on the news interview that some people might qualify to get this product for free. I am begging for relief from my anxiety disorder and PTSD. I WOULD BUY OF I COULD AFFORD. I am a disabled/retired Mo. Dept. of Corrections Officer. I have been on Xanex for 20 years and I am working with my Dr. to try to get off of it, although I will always need something because it is genetic. I am currently in remission for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and several other health issues. I live on $1,133.00 a month and $269.00 is taken out for Medicaid. I am also on Medicare. I only get $16.00 a month for Food Stamps yes sixteen dollars. I am 48 years old. I need all the help I can get. Please consider me for free help... it would be such a blessing to not be stuck in the Fight or flight mode all the time. Thank you for your time and consideration, Brett Williams.

     

    Robert Zorich

    Your recent story about Jacob Holma, a 17 year old boy with Autism, really hit home with us.  We see the same struggles in our 8 year old boy with Autism.  Just like Jacob, our son ZZ gets his mind stuck in "Story Mode".  "Story Mode" may not sound so bad but it looks like torture for our son.  When "Story Mode" hits, it seems to hijack all of his immediate thoughts.  It has such a grip on his mind, he must stop whatever he's doing and walk in circles finishing the story aloud with big alligator tears running down his face.   It's heartbreaking to watch.  

    Since his memory seems to be eidetic, he remembers nearly every story, video, commercial, or book he has interest in.  But, if any parts of those stories are re-introduced during an average day, by surprise, his recall immediately hijacks his mind and forces him to re-play the entire thing in his head.  It's like, in an instant, his mind becomes a typhoon of story lines with vivid scenes that start whipping around like a tornado that just touches down and blasts around in his head until the story is over.  

    Most of the time, a life situation will trigger a story memory and start this episode.  A simple song in the background of life or hearing a story line in a movie or book, in the next room will trigger it.  During the episode, we have been able to break through this storm with loud, face to face questions about things he really likes to do. We talk happily to him loudly, during his episode, reminding him of the good things we are going to do soon (go to the library or the park). And in a few moments, he echo's our words (go to the library, or park) and with a little time, this will eventually change his focus and break "Story Mode".  It's a little easier if he hears a familiar DVD or Video being played by surprise.   As he deals with the brain tornado and alligator tears, he grabs the remote, fast forwards, and eventually plays the last few seconds, to end the episode in his mind.  But, without being able to physically fast forwarding it, he just can't break through by himself, until it's over in his head.   

    But now, seeing someone just like ZZ, being helped with the same struggles, has given us a new hope. This could possibly give our son better focus at age 8, when his learning is most influenced. With this, there is hope that he will have much less stress battling with his own thoughts and possibly giving him a better future, with less alligator tears. 

    As parents, we wish we could do more for him but we have very limited funds.  As things are now, it would not be possible for us to buy this for ZZ.  If ZZ was honored with a scholarship, I know he would get the training to effectively use the device from his parents, therapists, paraprofessionals, and teachers alike. And I feel that ZZ would, hands down, have a better life because of this product. 

    Sincerely,

    Robert Zorich

    Trisha Albright

     My name is Trisha and I’m the proud mom to two boys, Brady (8 years old) and Weston (6 years old). Brady has autism and struggles with OCD and anxiety. He has made so much progress to get where he is. However, OCD and anxiety is a daily barrier to him being his best self. Brady is currently in 3rd grade and the Buzzies unit will be used in his classroom to help him regain composure during stressful events and remain focused on tasks. We are also excited to use Buzzies for our entire family, as it can be stressful to help Brady through his OCD and anxiety at times.  

    Since my husband is also a Fire Captain, we are excited to start using Buzzies for him during high-stress events. Many times, firefighters respond to calls at all hours, raising adrenal levels making it difficult to return to a state of calm. We’re hopeful that this will be a great asset for him as well!

    Cydie Mathers

    I am a two time TBI survivor with post traumatic epilepsy and a migraine sufferer. I think the Buzzie would be very beneficial in keeping my stress level down. If I can keep my stress in check, as well as the side effects of my TBI, my chances for having a seizure are greatly reduced.  And so are the frequencies of my migraines. Keeping both in check are paramount to my well being

     

    Danielle Darling

    As a full time college student, and while having to fund my college education by taking out student loans it makes it difficult to easily access finances when most of my time and energy is focused on school work. My hope is to continue my education after I receive my undergraduate degree and attend pharmacy school. For me, anxiety and stress is always present, and it would make a world of a difference to have one less thing to save up money for that would allow be to be my best self, without having to simply barely manage anxiety and stress. I could eliminate it altogether.

    As I've grown up, I've realized that I've struggled with managing anxiety and stress. Some moments in my life have humbled me and given me the strength to handle the anxiety better than others. It has taught me many lessons and has fully made me into the person I am today, but it still continues be an issue frequently. I have a clear grasp on the perspective I hold when I compare my situation with others. I'm not a single mom having to provide financially for a gifted child, I am not personally affected by autism, and I may be "better off" mentally than many others. However, I do also realize that a struggle is a struggle no matter who you are or what you are dealing with in the moment. I am impressed by the research that was conducted to discover Buzzies, and the incredible ability to show improvement on an individual's feelings immediately. I would be so happy and relieved to receive the Buzzies as a tool to help me continue this path of coping and further eliminating anxiety from my life, to help empower myself in achieving my future goals, to help stop fear in its tracks so that it doesn't hold me back. I know that Buzzies would do wonders for my life, and the world would have one less anxious, fearful, worried individual.

    Emily Levandusk

    I still remember the day Gavin was born, we knew he was special the moment we laid eyes on him. He was born in the town of Sacile, Italy during our four year tour my husband was assigned as active duty Airman First Class. We first learned I was pregnant just before my husband deployed to Iraq. I stayed in Italy, and my husband returned just in time for Gavin's birth. We were young and inexperienced walking through the hospital doors that day. Twenty two hours of labor, and three hours of pushing ended with a c-section to bring Gavin into the world. You wouldn't have guessed it was such a long delivery by Gavin's Apgar score (test to determine Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Response.) Gavin scored a high ten out of ten, and the average newborn scores a seven. Gavin was born on March 19th, 2006 he is ten years old, and is the oldest of three. Of course, in our eyes he is still a perfect ten, and we remind him of it often. Gavin was born with a high level of energy. I was told that his body movements were unusually fast as a baby. If I didn't know any different I would have though Gavin was just as challenging as the next child. Strong-willed and determined to discover the world around him. As the years went on I couldn't deny the truth, Gavin was different. He struggles to stay within the lines of what is socially acceptable daily. It breaks my heart to see him have to try so hard to be a normal. What is "normal" anyway? If you raise strong, loving, responsible, children with integrity who discover their own unique gifts and share them with the world, thats normal to me. As a mother I am constantly looking for new ways to help him. We use essential oils to calm him, keep him focused and overall well-being. We have changed our diets to include more plant based foods. We keep a consistent schedule and set of rules. Gavin will accomplish amazing things in his life if given the right tools, and it's my job as a mother to make sure he has the tools he needs. Gavin is an exceptional young man and I am proud to call him my son. Together we have learned so much about life, love, and respect. I know that Buzzies will will help him, and we appreciate this opportunity to take part in your scholarship program. We look forward to giving our review on our experience using the touch point system.

    Scholarship Winner: Ethan and Lexi

     My name is Lexi, my husband's name is Justin, and we     live  in Sarasota, FL. After 2 years of undiagnosed infertility, we were finally blessed with our little miracle, Ethan Jon. Ethan is now a smart, spunky, handsome but sometimes bossy 3 year old! Around 18 months we noticed Ethan's speech wasn't progressing as it should be, and finally in October 2015, he was diagnosed with ASD. No matter how much we all knew it in our hearts, it still came as a shock to hear the words said out loud. Not a day has gone by since that I haven't spent some portion of my day googling- looking for answers, suggestions, and help.

    Ethan is now enrolled full-time in an autism classroom in a public school system, and he's making great progress. His teachers have won him over and he has them wrapped around his little finger! He's very sweet and incredibly smart, but his attention span is seriously lacking and at times it's nearly impossible to get him to focus. It's so important that he gets the therapy he needs right now, and I worry that his hyperactivity will make it harder. A friend showed me a news story on Facebook about the Buzzies, and I was very intrigued! Anything that could help Ethan focus would be invaluable to us, but unfortunately at this point we can't afford to purchase one. We are 4 weeks away from closing on our new home, which we decided to purchase to be closer to Ethan's school. Right now we commute about 25 miles each way to drop him off and pick him up each day, and it's taking a toll on all of us. Car rides are sometimes very stressful, because sitting still just isn't fun! This is another time in which Buzzies would be helpful!

     I appreciate you listening to our story, and considering us to receive this scholarship. I am my son's biggest advocate and I will try anything to help him cope. Thanks again!

     

    Scholarship Winner: Dr. Linda Shea

    Dr. Linda Shea
    Dr. Linda Shea

    Dear Dr Serin and Ms Mayo,

    I am thrilled to find out about Buzzies. As a classical musician, I'm someone who has battled performance anxiety all my life. At times it hasn't been much of a problem at all but other times it's quite a struggle. The last two years have been so daunting that I have actually considered ending my performing career, which is a devastating thought! 

    I have anxiety about other things in my life as well, including the Music Festival I am organizing in Europe. After moving to Prague a year ago to pursue a Fulbright Grant, I came up with an idea to put together a Multicultural Music Project where I would bring together musicians of different backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, etc. to perform music of all styles together. It’s a huge project. There is an extreme amount of anxiety that goes along with the excitement of this new project. The worst part is that is causes me to shut down when I need to be the most productive. Amazingly enough, I’m still managing to move forward but it feel like such slow progress and is even painful at times.

    Unfortunately I’m doing all this as a freelance musician and a part-time teacher which gives me no real financial cushion. Thank you for considering a scholarship to help me find renewed confidence in music!  - Dr. Linda Shea

     

    Scholarship Winner: Christine and Cory

    Christine and Corey
    Christine and Corey
     

     My son Corey was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 20 months old. I was relieved to to finally have answers.  Why wasn't my child speaking, or looking me in the eye.

    When I was told that Corey may never speak I was devastated. I was sad for a minute then I got mad. I spent hours online doing research. Hours on the phone fighting with Insurance companies to pay for services and the state to provide them.

    We've tried many therapies, special diets, Holistic remedies and Defeat Autism Now (NOW) Doctors. We participate in a lot of research studies, ASDRA being one. I've taken my son to Brain Balance therapy which helped quite a bit but was very costly. 

    I feel blessed to be a Veteran because my military background is so helpful to both of my children. Structure, discipline and organization are extremely relaxing for children with Autism. 

    I will never stop looking for ways to help my son Corey.

    Scholarship Winner: Adrianne Butero

    Adrienne Butero's classroom
    Adrienne Butero's classroom

    Dr. Amy Serin and Vicki Mayo,

    My name is Adrianne and I am a special education teacher in a self-contained classroom at the middle school level. I instruct within a Structured Routine Center, SRC. This program specializes in structure, routine, visual supports with ABA therapy. All 14 of my boys have Autism and range from k-7th grade cognitively. We focus on social skills, peer interaction, and behavior management. As you know every person with Autism is different but all of my boys would benefit from a regulation product such as a buzzies. Many times throughout the day my students struggle with self-regulation and it does hold them back academically, socially and emotionally. I believe this product could be a game changer for my boys. Here is a scenario for just one of my boys in a typical day.

    This boy will arrive at school happy, polite and will greet his teacher when prompted. 30 minutes into the day we may start a yelling behavior because of another student who is being vocal or because he is frustrated with something around him. This begins to trigger the other students and we prompt him to take a break or go for a walk with a teacher. This can be something that resolves itself quickly after a walk or can be a 30 minute episode of yelling and other behaviors. Next up is station learning, again a yelling behavior will present itself as he is frustrated with reading, etc and will need to take a break again. Simple things can be a challenge or other days we are very happy and he isn’t bothered and “ it’s the best day ever”. This students is very caring, is working hard on staying in class a full day without a episode and has an extremely supportive parent with two boys on the spectrum. She has tried as we have many interventions. I think with the assistance of this product his behavior will not get in his way and he will be regulated and happy for the full day. This is just one of my 14. My students range from nonverbal to verbal and although we know them well it can be very hard to understand what that students needs to regulate with limited communication skills.
    I care deeply for all of my students and I want all of them to reach their full potential. It is painful to watch a meltdown as a teacher, it can make you feel helpless. Every day you want to help each student be happy, successful and process the day in a healthy way. I applaud you for being so innovative and creating a product such as this. I am very hopeful for this product and I KNOW it will change lives.

    Adrianne Butero
    Masters in Special Education                                                                              

    https://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/3915609/?active=true