Mother, autistic son could use necessities

Pull-up diapers, household appliances and help with utility bills would brighten the holiday season for this mother and her autistic son.

Diana and little Sean have battled domestic violence and substance abuse for years, say staff at CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Things sometimes became so violent that Diana would end up in the emergency room and then have to hide from a spouse who threatened the lives of her and her children.

Diana's out-of-control home life and her own drug addictions eventually caused her to lose parental rights to two of her children.

But her love for Sean sparked something in Diana. She managed to escape the relationship, moved to Medford and reached out to child welfare and the courts.

Diana enrolled in treatment, and a CASA was appointed for Sean. Diana was able to file for custody while Sean's father was in prison. She has maintained a clean and sober household and is ready to continue her schooling. She plans to study child development and special education, staffers say.

But Diana and Sean still have many hurdles to face. Sean was diagnosed in the autistic spectrum, and his needs are serious.

He is almost 5 but can make only three-word sentences. He hasn't been successfully potty trained. His learning challenges will require help through special programs.

Sean loves learning and works really hard at it. He enjoys and benefits from preschool learning programs on television. They have basic cable programming through Charter which does not include a family educational package called "Sprouts," which offers a number of channels throughout the day featuring educational programs especially for preschoolers.

Diana will be starting school as soon as she finds reliable day care for Sean, and a laptop computer would make classes and homework much easier for her.

Both would appreciate bus passes and gift cards for groceries and household supplies.

A new or semi-new washing machine and dryer would be a dream come true. Diana does not have a car, and there's not a laundromat within walking distance, CASA staff say.

To help Diana and Sean, contact Daria Land at CASA of Jackson County at 541-734-2272 or Donors should not drop off large items at CASA without calling first.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or

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