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The Casey Foundation for Autism Support Inc.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 9:53am
The Casey Foundation with Kathleen Fellinger


The Casey Foundation for Autism


World Autism Day (WAD), on April 2 as declared by the United Nations General Assembly, starts off Autism Awareness month for April to educate the world about autism and how it effects children and their families.  No matter what race, religion or social status, autism knows no boundaries.  World Autism Day is the opportunity for communities to support persons with autism and their families by bringing awareness through special events,  organizing a local fundraiser, and shining a light on the struggles and also the triumphs of the children and familes living with autism.  In Saskatchewan, more attention and funding needs to be brought to this campaign to help these families not just for this one day but everyday of the year.  It takes a tremendous amount of energy, strength, finances and support for a family to raise a child on the spectrum.  Specialized therapies and treatments can be very costly but they are needed.  

This month, we introduce you to The Casey Foundation for Autism Support Inc., a Saskatchewan foundation helping families living with autism.  They provide financial assistance to families who need access to important programs, therapies and other services and products that help children with autism.  Each child's needs are different but with the right therapies and timely supports, they can live productive and meaningful lives.  Please take the time to read this interview and share it online through social media with your circle of friends, family and co-workers.  Let's help shine a light for children and families in need right here in Saskatchewan.


KB:  Can you tell us what the Casey Foundation is and what your mission is?
CF: The Casey Foundation for Autism Support Inc. is an independent non-profit organization with the mission to see that all children with autism are able to receive financial assistance to develop their unique needs.  This is because much of the cost of expensive treatments and programs for autism are not fully funded here in Saskatchewan and the parents are left to pay out of pocket costs.


KB:  How did the Casey Foundation begin and who created it?
CF: The Casey Foundation for Autism Support Inc. was created in 2005 by Alexis (Leippi) Cuthbert, a single mom of a child with autism.



KB:  Who can qualify for support from the Casey Foundation?
CF: Any family living in Saskatchewan raising a child with autism is elligible. "Child" refers to up to age 18 or still enrolled in a high school program.


KB:  Does your child need an official diagnosis to qualify for assistance?
CF: A child should have an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or a PPD (Pervasive Development Disorder not otherwise specified) diagnosis. However, because diagnosis can sometimes take time, a pending diagnosis while the child is already receiving services is also allowable.


KB:  What types of things do families need assistance with funding?
CF: Any therapy, program or product that parents see as beneficial to their child's development because of a diagnosis of ASD, is eligible for funding.


KB:  What is the most sought after help that families request funding for from the Casey Foundation?
CF: Previously funded items include occupational, speech, music and physical therapy; computer programs, dietary supplements and medications, physical and sensory programming, therapeutic equipment, incontinence products, specialized child care and much more.


 Casey Foundation - Child receiving Therapeutic Riding Lessons

KB:  How do you raise money for funding at the Casey Foundation?

CF: All money is raised through donations and fundraisers.





KB: How many fundraising events do you host in a year?
CF: We are continually fundraising with large and small events.  We are open to any ideas for events or products to sell.  We are only limited by our manpower and available volunteer time to get things done.


KB:  Do you accept volunteer help?
CF: We are always looking for volunteers to become board members and/or help at fundraising events.  We are also interested in starting fundraising efforts outside of Regina (where all the fundraising has been done to date) and would like coordinators from other cities/towns to assist.


KB:  How much of the proceeds raised through fundraising go directly to support the foundation?
CF: All the profits from fundraising go to help families in Saskatchewan.  The Casey Foundation operates with a board of volunteer trustees and no paid employees.  Except for printing, postage, etc.  we have very little overhead.  All proceeds donated and raised are used to benefit Sasakatchewan families living with Autism.


KB:  Do you have a goal that you would like to reach this year?
CF: We have had an extreme increase in applications over the past year and therefore have more applications than we have money to fund them.  We would like to partner with anyone for fundraising efforts and are looking for businesses and corporations that would consider being a sponsor to The Casey Foundation for Autism Support Inc.  The Casey Foundation endeavours to help all families applying and therefore needs more funds to do so.


KB:  How can families apply?
CF: Parents can apply by submitting a completed 1 page application found on our website, and attaching receipts to show proof of payment to accompany their application. 


Alexis Cuthbert, Founder f The Casey Foundation

For more information or to contact and support The Casey Foundation for Autism Inc.:

Alexis Cuthbert - Founder
P.O. Box 26053
Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 7A8
Telephone: (306) 525-6482
Fax: (306) 781-2027
Twitter:  @thecaseyfdn

Photos courtesy of The Casey Foundation for Autism Inc.