How one boy in Monrovia showed immense progress in a short period of time
(All Names Changed for Privacy)
It was a cool yet sunny Fall day in Monrovia when Alyssa took Chad to get a haircut. Having learned from past haircut encounters that Chad doesn’t like haircuts, Alyssa was tense and apprehensive.
Chad lasted about 30-seconds in the barber chair before melting down in tears, screaming in protest at the barber’s every snip and comb.
Like many kids with autism, three-year old Chad can be very bothered by unusual sensory experiences.
Finally the whole ordeal was over. Chad’s hair looked fine- but the boy himself was recovering from what was for him a traumatic experience.
Chad’s challenges didn’t stop at haircuts. There was a long list:
- Chad struggled to speak and would engage in tantrums to get what he wanted
- Alyssa couldn’t potty-train him
- Chad did not play with kids his age
- Chad would tantrum when it was time to transition to a new activity, or when he did not like the activity
- Chad did not like to wait
- Chad had a lot of sensory difficulties
Chad’s parents were frustrated and overwhelmed taking care of Chad. They didn’t know why he was having temper tantrums all the time. Daily tasks like changing diapers were a big drain on time, energy, and patience. And the family couldn’t participate in many normal activities outside of the house.
Alyssa started to wonder if Chad needed a new therapist and heard about Dream Big Children’s Center. She had a gut feeling that Chad was not getting the full support, care, and love that he needed.
When Everything Started to Change
Alyssa enrolled Chad in clinic-based ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy with Dream Big Children’s Center on December 17, 2018.
We put together a plan to help Chad with all of the struggles he and his parents were experiencing:
We taught Chad to take deep breaths and count to ten to calm his body
We implemented a timer and visual schedule to get Chad used to transitioning between tasks throughout the day
We taught Chad how to communicate his needs instead of crying and screaming (for example, by asking for help, requesting a break, communicating that he is “all done,” etc)
We reinforced positive behaviors that Chad already exhibited
Some ABA agencies reduce expenses by providing therapy in the homes of patients. This causes a lot of inconvenience to the parents, because one of them has to at be home for hours every day. More importantly, it also reduces the efficacy of therapy. By providing services to Chad in our warm, fun clinic, we were able to help him make much faster progress.
The results have been spectacular:
- Chad is now potty trained
- Chad engages in social play with friends
- Chad follows instructions and no longer needs a timer or visual aides
- Chad’s communication skills have increased while maladaptive behavior has decreased
- Chad now sits for an entire hair cut in the absence of crying
Chad’s Whole Family is Happier
Alyssa is happy with her choice to switch from her old provider and enroll Chad in therapy with Dream Big Children’s Center.
Chad is too! He loves going to therapy and hugs his behavior therapist every time he sees her.
Daily is easier for the whole family. Everybody is more relaxed, they have more time, and get along better.
Most importantly, Chad is set for a brighter future.
The Secret to Chad’s Success
So, what was it that helped Chad grow so much in two years? How did he end up on a trajectory to live a much fuller and happier life?
One element is seeing each child as a holistic individual with their own strengths, weaknesses, and ways of communicating.
But the most important factor that helped Chad is the fact that his parents took action and got the help they needed.
They appreciated that the longer you wait to get help, the longer it takes to help your child. They decided that they didn’t want to stall or delay or look into it “someday.”
Now look where Chad is.
There’s Hope for Every Child
Imagine train tracks that stretch all the way to the horizon. If you alter the course of those train tracks just a couple of degrees, they will end up miles away from where they point now.
ABA therapy is about helping your child change direction now, so they end up at a totally different destination in the future.
By helping children with autism learn the communication, social, and life skills they need, we can help them live more independently for the rest of their lives.
There is hope for every child.
Now It’s Your Turn
Would you like to get help for your child? Our team of highly experienced professionals has many decades of combined experience helping kids with autism.
We can look at ways to address whatever is on your mind, including:
Signs of autism
- Helping you set up a diagnostic evaluation
- Toileting issues
- Temper tantrums
- Social skills issues
- Difficulty performing routines
- Communication deficits
- Self-injurious behavior
- Eating difficulties
- Academic challenges
- And more…
Here’s What to do Next
Below there is a form you’ll need to fill out, and on the following page you’ll be asked to pick a time to schedule your session: