Advocating for Your Child
Lynda and David, parents of Wynston, discuss the necessity of advocating for your child with autism and ensuring that they receive intervention as soon as possible. Children are most likley to benefit from treatment when they are very young and their brains are still developing. Lynda and David also discuss the importance of parents educating themselves as much as possible given that our knowledge of autism is rapidly growing and changing.
"Taking the view that every second counts."
— Lynda, Wynston's Mother
Early Warning Signs related to Advocating for Your Child
Nancy, mother of Dean, encourages parents not to be scared of the autism label, because without a diagnosis a child cannot receive essential therapy services. She recalls how overcoming her own fears about Dean receiving a diagnosis has been critical to his progress.
Caryn, mother of Jack and Riley, urges parents to ignore the stigma of an autism label and focus on what is most important: getting your children all the services they need to develop essential functional skills.
Raquel, mom of Sal, Ethan and Evan, believes that raising three children with autism has made her a stronger and more patient person.
Therapies related to Advocating for Your Child
Meet Wynston and his dedicated family. Wynston, the youngest of five children, is the only member of his family to be diagnosed with autism. His parents, Lynda and David, have been avidly researching therapeutic techniques, as well as putting together a team of professionals, to help Wynston develop important life skills during the short developmental window in his early childhood. From 25 hours of applied behavioral analysis training a week to physical therapy using playground equipment to finding creative ways to increase zinc intake in his diet, Wynston is following a daily regiment designed to repeatedly enforce desired behaviors and teach cognitive skills. Within a few months, Wynston has already made considerable progress developing joint attention skills, coordination and core strength, and progressed into more more appropriate play. However, Wynston is still very hyperactive, demonstrates delayed language skills, and struggles to make lasting eye contact (even with immediate family).
Nancy, mother of Dean (ASD), describes how she considered both her pediatrician's recommendations and her own instincts as a mother when deciding to pursue an evaluation for her son. She then describes the enormous difference only a few months of intervention has made in Dean's development and encourages parents to pursue as much therapy as possible for their children.
Dr. Fein describes the crucial importance of training parents to incorporate therapy strategies into their daily interactions with their children. Teaching parents therapy techniques is also important to ensure that children have access to appropriate interventions even when trained therapists are not available in their area.
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