USA hope for autistic Hatfield girl

PUBLISHED: 14:04 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009

Tina Sandiford-Mason with her daughter

Tina Sandiford-Mason with her daughter

A SINGLE mum who is dreaming of sending her severely disabled daughter to an American treatment centre, is appealing for help. Tasharna Sandiford-Stewart was diagnosed with autism in 2004, aged just two. Ever since then Hatfield mum Tina Sandiford-Mason,

A SINGLE mum who is dreaming of sending her severely disabled daughter to an American treatment centre, is appealing for help.

Tasharna Sandiford-Stewart was diagnosed with autism in 2004, aged just two.

Ever since then Hatfield mum Tina Sandiford-Mason, has been at 24-hour beck-and-call for her daughter, who among many things is not able to speak and struggles to recognise danger.

Now she has discovered a world-leading centre that shows "miraculous" results in helping people with the brain development disorder.

But the snag is, it's in Massachusetts, and travel and insurance will cost thousands.

Fundraising events have been set up to get seven-year-old Tasharna there.

There will be a car boot sale on Saturday, April 25, from 10.30am to 4pm, and a children's fun day with raffle, on June 6 from 1pm to 4.30pm, at The Harrier pub.

The Bishops Rise mum told the WHT she has to give the Son-Rise Program, a shot.

"If there is any chance it can help we have to give it a go," she said.

"We are just hoping for people's generosity."

The mum-of-one, who has lived in Hatfield since she was pregnant, said Tasharna's condition came on very suddenly.

"I was a very young mum and I didn't know what it was. She went from being a normal little girl, to not being able to speak.

"I was devastated."

The family first noticed the signs such as staring into space, being scared of minute things, no eye contact and sometimes being aggressive, when they were on holiday in Malta.

At a hospital appointment after returning home, Tasharna was diagnosed with severe autism and learning difficulties.

For more information or to donate call 07736 680898.

For more on the specialist centre, visit www.autismtreatmentcenter.org


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