Our Brody was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 18 months old. We’ve heard many times, “That's so young, how did you know?” It became very clear at 15 months old. He was born healthy, and met all of his milestones on time. He was happy, social, great eye contact, and he even spoke a few words. At 15 months old, I started to become concerned. Over a period of 4-6 weeks, he began to lose many of the things that defined our Brody. He stopped smiling as much, no longer responded to his name, he lost the few words that he had achieved, he stopped waving hi and bye, he stopped giving kisses on commands. He began to resist eating food; we had to regress back into pureed baby foods and he would only drink out of one Sippy cup. He became so clumsy, always falling for no apparent reason. He began to stare at lights, ceiling fans, and became hyper focused on spinning objects. In a nutshell he began withdrawing from our world, into his own.
I remember crying myself to sleep many nights; feeling like someone stole the life out of my little boy, and left me with his precious body. At that point, we insisted on our pediatrician referring for an evaluation, and began speech therapy and occupational therapy thru our local First Steps. Being an RN, I knew in my gut, that my son had Autism. The official medical diagnosis came at 18 months. I took about a month to process the information, and deal with my emotions, while working on a game plan for his treatment. From there, we began to tour different ABA centers in Indy. We toured three and were terrified, so we quit touring facilities, and thought there’s no way we can send our son to those places at two years old and feel confident about it. We were scared out of our mind.
When Brody was 23 months old and still not making many notable gains, we decided to tour one more facility. That being the VBCA. We instantly felt safe, warm, and optimistic. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate. They listened to our story, our fears, and our hopes. The facility was clean and inviting. Each kid had their own unique room and that was important to us. For the first time, we felt like there was some light at the end of our tunnel. The staff helped every step of the way with insurance. The very next month Brody turned two and he began attending VBCA 32 hours a week. This was a big adjustment for our family, and our little boy. But, it was the best decision for our son and he immediately made gains. His eye contact drastically improved, he began stacking blocks, and playing with puzzles. He learned how to CLAP! He began giving kisses again, and WAVING. The list goes on and on.
Now, he is 3 1/2 years old and he’s still making gains. He is now beginning to make sounds, and say words. He is also now working on potty training! He's doing amazing! VBCA has been excellent with these skills. They’re always collaborating and making the changes necessary for growth. We don’t know where we’d be without The VBCA, and the staff. They have literally changed our life, and given us hope for a bright future. You can follow Brody’s journey at www.facebook.com/brodysautismjourney.