Hope For Three was inspired by the plight of an amazing mother and father in Fort Bend County who experienced the triple pleasure and heartbreak of having identical triplets all diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Helplessly watching this family navigate the frustrating waters of maxed out social services, excessive bureaucracy, denials by insurance companies and indifference by society, close friends pondered their options and as a result, Hope For Three was created in April 2011.
Inspired by the Montgomery triplets, Hope For Three, a local nonprofit and autism advocacy group, was established to raise community awareness and provide resources and support, in the form of financial aid, to families with children diagnosed with ASD.
Please take a moment to read our story about faith, HOPE and determination.
Hope and Eric Montgomery of Richmond, Texas were proud, elated and relieved when their spontaneous identical triplet girls were born healthy and strong. Londyn, Lakin and Lauren joined big brother, Collin on March 25, 2006.
The girls were born without complication and arrived home within days of their birth. All three girls thrived and were happy, carefree, loving babies. However, at about two years of age, Hope noticed regression in Lakin; delayed reactions, lack of eye contact, repetitive behavior, disassociation and her verbal communication rapidly ceased. Shortly thereafter, Londyn and Lauren followed in their sister’s footsteps with the same characteristics.
By age four, all three girls were diagnosed PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified); a diagnosis that fell under the umbrella of ASD, or autism.
ASD is a neurological disorder that results in impaired social interaction and communication skills, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate “1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism” and “1 in 45 school-age children are now affected.”
ASD is a life-long condition with no medical cause or cure. In the United States, 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism. “Every 11 minutes a child is diagnosed. By way of comparison, this is more children than are affected by juvenile diabetes, AIDS and cancer combined.”
Eric and Hope are two average American hard-working, proud, private citizens. Eric, a NGL Scheduler for Oxy Chemical. Hope, a full time Mother, tends to the children and the home while endlessly searching and researching available therapies, schooling, medical advice, treatments; endless avenues to help their girls.
In 2011, the girls entered the Texana Children’s Center for Autism for a 2-year program under the DARs Grant. In addition to the family cost share tuition, hearing tests, verbal testing, speech, occupational and behavioral therapy (the list is too long to put on one page) and, a substantial portion of which insurance does not cover, are only a few of the expenses the family incurred.
Most recognize the excessive cost of raising four children, now add the expenses of trying to secure proper treatment for the girls; this, all but drained the family. The financial burden the Montgomery family struggles with daily and, the emotional roller coaster they continue to experience, is quite simply, indescribable and unimaginable. The life-time cost to care for a person with autism is estimated to extend up to $2.4 million. Now think for a moment, times three.
Facing a life long journey, both parents continue full force ahead on a mission to provide the girls with every opportunity available to ensure “Triple Divas” (as we affectionately named the girls) thrive to the best of their ability; all while maintaining a stable environment for their son, Collin.
Although their strength is sometimes tested, Hope and Eric are confident their persistence and perseverance will bring positive and encouraging hope to a very tough situation.
With limited resources available, the obvious and evident need to provide help, hope and support to families like the Montgomery’s is urgent.
Did you know?
- The average cost of care for one person with autism is estimated to cost $60,000 per year.
- There is no known cause or cure for autism, however, autism is treatable with proper treatment and early intervention services.
- The Fort Bend County public school system serves more than 3,000 children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
With the support of a kind and caring community, together, we can make a difference for our unique and differently-able children.