Our Story

our_storyOur gorgeous son Max was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 22 months in 2005. He had hit all his age appropriate milestones until about 15 months when he really just…stopped. When our fast acting pediatrician referred us to investigate we both agreed there was something wrong. When the diagnosis came, even though I’d suspected it, hearing it was just a huge slap in the face.

I’m still surprised at how little information we came away with that day. We were informed we could get on a list to see a behavioral therapist at a hospital, but the wait would be lengthy. That was followed by the advice to start speech therapy right away since Max was clearly behind. And that was all the advice we were given.

That is when I started my mutually beneficial relationship with Google – much more information there! Research led me to buy A LOT of DVD’s that promised your child would start speaking if they watched them every day. This did not happen.

Then there were all the therapies. Everywhere had waiting lists and I was still unclear as to what these therapies were supposed to even do. Was he EVER going to talk? Why could no one give us an idea of what this diagnosis would mean for Max long term?

It was a rough six months while we tried to determine the direction we needed to take. The best thing we got from the internet was that there WERE people out there who were hopeful that these children could make huge strides and become valuable members of society – those who were willing to look outside the box.

Chalmers_BoysWe started all the therapies we could fit into a day! Max had Speech, Occupational and Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy (ABA) with some great progress. After about 2 years I felt I had researched Bio-Medical Autism enough to take the next step. It was fantastic. It was like flicking on a switch and welcoming Max back to the world! It was amazing how it complemented his other therapies producing even greater results.

Today Max is 11 years old and has exceeded all my expectations. He is mainstreamed in school with accommodations for his autism. He plays soccer, does martial arts and has even been on a competitive gymnastics team. He is also very funny and kind. Do we sail through each day? Of course not! But who does?

Max’s autism has opened up my whole world in such a positive way that I could never have imagined. Learning about Autism and your child will inevitably teach you a lot about yourself as you experience life in a whole new way.

Autism is still a daily challenge for Max but we were lucky enough to have wonderful resources available to us and we would like to help make them available to others. At the end of the day, Autism is a VERY expensive business! We have been fortunate enough to afford a lot of these therapies but for many the costs are crippling to the family budget.

The purpose of MAXimum Chances is to help people gain access to some of these therapies and treatments and to be a resource to help parents navigate the journey. We want to help provide you with the resources and support you need!

Nicole Chalmers
Founder of MAXimum Chances



Autism by the Numbers

The costs of behavioral intervention therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can reach up to $60,000 per child each year.

It is estimated that medical costs associated with caring for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are up to $20,000 higher annually than caring for a child without.

It is estimated that Autism costs the nation $137 billion per year, no doubt the rising ate of children diagnosed will increase this figure dramatically.

In 2010 the National Institute of Health (NIH) allocated just $218 million of it’s $35.6 billion dollar budget to Autism. This number represents less than 0.6% of total NIH funding.

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than pediatric AIDS, juvenile diabetes and cancer combined.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States yet the most underfunded.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

While the cause of Autism is still unclear, current studies indicate genetics and exposure to environmental triggers both play a role in the autism prevalence increase.

Families with one child on the Autism Spectrum have an estimated 20% increased risk of having another child affected.

Between 30-5-% of people with Autism suffer from seizures.

It is estimated that up to 40% of children with Autism do not speak.

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls. More specifically that number is 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

In 2014 the Center for Disease Control determined that approximately 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. In 2000 this number was 1 in 250 children

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