A FAMILY from Longbridge is organising a coffee morning to help raise funds so that they can take their autistic son over to America for treatment.

Paul and Christine Checkley have organised the coffee morning at Longbridge Methodist Church to help raise money for their son Jacob, who is severely autistic.

The family wants to take Jacob over to the Autism Treatment Centre of America in Massachusetts for a week-long intensive therapy course, which will hopefully make his life much easier, and help them to communicate effectively with him.

Jacob originally wouldn’t talk, or make eye contact with other people, and wouldn’t engage in any kind of play, which led to him becoming very frustrated and eventually even self-harming, but the family stumbled across an American program called ‘Son-Rise’ which was set up through the Autism Treatment Centre of America, and found that it saw Jacob become a lot more sociable, even playing with his older brother, and starting to use a few clear words, as well as giving of eye contact to those he feels most connected to.

Now the family is determined to take Jacob over to the centre to learn more about how to live with his condition, which means raising £15,000 to cover flights, travel, living expenses and a week at the ATCA.

The coffee morning is taking place on Saturday, April 23 from 10am to 1pm at Longbrige Methodist Church, with tea, coffee, squash, homemade cakes, and sweets on offer, as well as a raffle and Name the Bear competition. Alternatively, people can add to the fundraising target by visiting gofundme.com/wx7h7fc.