Target smashed in fundraising bid to fast track 11-year-old Norwich girl’s autism assessment
PUBLISHED: 17:37 22 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:41 22 October 2017
A perfect pamper party has helped a Norwich family reach their fundraising goal so an 11-year-old girl can be assessed for autism.
Nicky Rolph has been fighting for a diagnosis for her “beautiful, bright, and witty” daughter, Ashley Barzey, for five years.
After countless assessments, hospital visits, and referrals Ms Rolph was finally told Ashley needed to be seen at a specialist unit, The Lorna Wing Autism Centre, in Bromley.
However, the long waiting list meant she may need to wait up to two years for an appointment.
This was a situation Ms Rolph was not willing to accept, as Ashley struggles with social difficulties as well as dyslexia, poor fine motor control, and battling mental ill health, including attempting to take her own life.
She started a fundraising bid to fast track the process and on Sunday her £3,000 goal was met at a pamper party in Ashley’s name.
Ms Rolph, who works as a pastoral support worker and teaching assistant, said: “It’s been brilliant, I don’t cry very often but I have shed quite a few tears today.
“I’m shell-shocked, for our family this will change our lives and it’s raised awareness too.”
Ms Rolph said she had been contacted by two women who had faced similar issues with their children.
And she said that support from these new friends, as parents who understood her situation, would now be invaluable.
Without an official diagnosis, Ashley is not eligible for a large portion of support she would otherwise be entitled too.
Ms Rolph said: “The educational psychologist she sees believes an assessment at this centre is vital as she’s incredibly complex.
“She has also had a six-week assessment by a lady who specialises in autism who has suggested the same.”
At the pamper party yesterday, guests were able to have as many beauty treatments - from nail treatments to facials - as they wanted for one set price.
And money was also raised through a raffle, for which more than 30 prizes were donated.
Ms Rolph said: “Ashley’s favourite part was drawing the raffle and getting her hair braided.
“Plus she had her friends here for her, just having everyone here supporting us. She’s loved it.”
She added: “There was a lot of live in the room.”