Therapy helps autism sufferer transform
A FOUR-hour trip to school has become part of life for Betty Rindfleish.
After their four-year-old son Rob was diagnosed with autism, Mrs Rindfleish and her husband Dave made the decision that they would do everything they could to access therapy for him - even if it was unavailable in the south-west Queensland town of Mungindi.
This meant Mrs Rindfleish would do an 800km round trip and stay in Toowoomba four nights a week so Rob could attend AEIOU Foundation's Toowoomba centre full-time.
The travel and separation have been tough for the family - but Mrs Rindfleish said the changes in Rob over eight months had made it all worthwhile.
"He was completely non-verbal. His speech has really come a long way.
"I still remember the first time I came to pick him up from school, and he saw me, and he said, 'Hi, Mum'. That was the first time that he'd ever said 'Mum'. That was huge."
The Mungindi community had been hugely supportive, Mrs Rindfleish said, with some people they did not even know offering them the use of their Toowoomba home during the week.
She said it had been amazing to watch Rob's transformation with the work of the AEIOU staff.
"They're just so patient with them. It's really hard to get your head around it yourself."
AEIOU's open day is today from 9.30am at 7 Friend St, Harristown.