Land's End to John O'Groats in 9 days

9 - 18 June 2004
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During summer 2004 Richard cycled the famous "End to End" ride from Land's End to John O'Groats in 9 days to raise money for his severely autistic son Zac.

Usually, autistic children suffer in silence, isolated in a world of their own as the condition affects the ability to communicate and understand the world around them. A child can spend hours alone and be totally unaware of things around them.

Fortunately, there are a few unique education techniques involving one-to-one therapy that can help a child progress and make better sense of the outside world. Zac has been educated in this way for 4 years now using a therapy called Lovaas, named after its inventor Prof. Lovaas based in California, USA. Zac has completely changed from the boy he used to be since Lovaas therapy. Before, he would spend hours alone just spinning an object in front of his face, or running up and down a room. Now he is able to initiate play with his sisters and friends and enjoys their company. He still does not talk, however, he can communicate his needs to you with pictures or gestures and understands a great deal of what is being said to him. Without his therapy none of this would have been possible.The cost of this therapy is high, as Zac has to be taught at home in a special classroom with trained therapists. There are no schools in this area that can provide this education. There is no funding available from the State, so his parents have no choice but to foot the bill. Zac is now learning self-help skills that will help him become less dependant on others and prevent him being institutionalised in the future. Richard hopes to raise money to go towards the continuing cost of his therapy by sponsorship for his ride.

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