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Silly, loving, unique

Ten-year-old Gavin McCarty is diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and suffers from atypical migraines.

“It limits our ability to get out in public and give the kids new experiences outside the home,” said Gavin’s mother, Tonie. “We do make memories, laugh and have fun, though. It just looks a little different.”

Gavin has been receiving Rainbows’ services for the past 8 years, and currently benefits from the Targeted Case Management program.

“The older he gets, the more supports Gavin needs to be able to learn and interact socially,” said Tonie. “As he’s grown and gotten heavier, we also need different equipment to help care for and transport him.”

Rainbows’ Targeted Case Managers provide personal assistance in finding and securing programs, services, equipment and financial aid that children with special needs require. Gavin’s Case Manager, Chelsea Bush, works to help ease some of the financial burden for non-covered medical supplies and equipment that he needs.

“Without even knowing it, the help from Chelsea for something as simple as wipes is the difference between being able to buy gas or basic household items for that week,” said Tonie.

Gavin is verbal but struggles with finding words or phrases while speaking to others. With proceeds raised by Rainbows’ Blarney Breakfast, Gavin will receive an iPad. This will provide Gavin with essential tools to help him more effectively communicate with others in conversation.

Tonie wants people to know that though her son has special needs, he is much like other ten-year-old boys.

“Gavin is the silliest, most loving, and most completely unique child ever,” she said. “To see him as the amazing kid he is, you only need to be willing to interact with him at his level. You just follow his cues when he’s getting frustrated or overwhelmed, adjust your expectations to what he can relate to and accomplish, and allow him to talk and explain things in his own unique way. “

Through their challenges, Tonie feels lucky to have had Rainbows as a strong family support in it all.

“You will be hard pressed to find a more selfless and compassionate group of people than those that work at Rainbows. They have been like family to us. They give moral support, show compassion, advocate for us, fight for us, get frustrated with us, and celebrate the small victories with us,” said Tonie. “Our lives would be a whole lot different without the compassion and help we have received from Rainbows.”