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February 22, 2014 at 5:49 PM

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"No funding available" - A family's struggle


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy Crawley of Kirkland holds her son Rowan, 8, when he becomes too rowdy while playing.

Rowan Crawley, 8, of Kirkland has severe autism, requiring almost constant care from his mother Amy, father Tony, and his school. The Crawleys have been waiting for most of Rowan's life to receive state services like respite care and different kinds of therapies that would help his behavior and progress, however, they are one of 14,600 families in Washington deemed eligible by the state for services but denied due to lack of funding. Read the story.



BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan Crawley puts on his coat at school. Without state support for individual therapy and behavior programs, his parents have depended on the special-education program at Helen Keller Elementary to provide much of his speech, occupational and physical therapy.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy Crawley unties the dishtowel she uses to lock the refrigerator closed. Rowan cannot control how much he eats or what he craves - he once ate a considerable amount of baking soda - so constant supervision is required.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Tony Crawley keeps his son Rowan entertained with a light-up toy while he cooks eggs for breakfast. Amy and Tony have worked out a routine in which they work opposite schedules to watch Rowan when he is not in school, as he requires such a high level of care and they do not receive state services.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Around Christmas, Amy Crawley put up this display of Rowan sitting with Santa Claus as a toddler to a young boy. While he is affectionate with his parents and familiar people in his life, the pictures show how withdrawn he became with others due to his autism.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan playfully bats at the camera lens. He can be a handful when he acts out to get attention by pulling hair or hitting.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy Crawley tries to get Rowan to sit still for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Since he is too much for a babysitter to handle, Amy and Tony work opposite shifts, one staying home to care for him while the other works.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Tony Crawley administers medication through Rowan's feeding tube, which he got installed as a baby. Doctors initially gave him a "failure to thrive" diagnosis when he stopped sleeping, eating and gaining weight after three months.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Para-educator Kate Mackey helps get Rowan in his chair for snack time at Helen Keller Elementary School.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan struggles with Amy as they get into their car after school. Transition times between activities can make him frustrated and cause him to act out.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy Crawley sits with Rowan for a play date with Caleb Ritchie, 8, and Sadie, 3. Amy met their mother Lisa through a special needs program for children at their church, and they continue to get the kids together to socialize, although Rowan prefers to stick with his mom.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan Crawley goes upside down in a swing installed in the family's playroom.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan beats the drums to The Beatles, his favorite music to play and dance to.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan Crawley is walked into his special-education classroom by para-educators Kate Mackey, left, and Cynthia Corpus, right at Helen Keller Elementary School. He is very well-liked at school for his sweet demeanor and smile, but sometimes acts out for attention, kicking, pinching and pulling hair.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Rowan Crawley chews on a washcloth while his mother Amy takes him to a play date with some other children with special needs.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy gets Rowan to brush his teeth before bed while Tony works a late night shift.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy and Tony Crawley plead with Rowan to get in bed after Tony came home from working a late shift at work.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Tony Crawley puts down the book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" after Rowan finally fell asleep. He usually won't stay asleep for more than an hour or two without a parent sleeping in the room with him, as sleeping problems are common in people with autism.

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