Lucas' Autism Journey

By Lindsey and Kyle N. (Lucas’ Parents)

Lucas was a happy toddler who loved playing with trains, but at 2 years he struggled with communicating, eye contact and developmental milestones. Screams and crying were every day and what seemed constant. He wouldn’t respond to his name and limited words disappeared. Simple outings were unpredictable and he could not adapt to his environment. We never knew what to expect and the struggle left us all frustrated.

Reluctant to accept there were any issues and his development just needed more time, we took our pediatrician’s recommendation to seek out speech and occupational therapy. He began shortly after his 2nd birthday and by the next year there were some improvements but more was needed. These therapists helped us to see Lucas needed a specialist. The following spring Lucas was diagnosed with Autism. The doctor immediately recommended ABA Therapy.

Knowing his struggle with interaction and different environments, it was difficult to imagine sending Lucas to therapy for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I wanted to believe everything he needed to develop could be provided by us but the realization soon came when he was still having difficulties.

Thankfully, we found ABC and immediately began to notice the changes! A routine started to emerge which included easier bedtime and less tired meltdowns. It was not long before the words started! I began to hear, “Bye, I love you Mom and Dad.” In those beginning weeks, drop off was the MOST difficult; it didn’t take long to realize he was at the best place possible. The changes in Lucas showed he was able to learn, play and have a good time. He loves to say his alphabet, count, and explore books on his own.

With the help of his therapists, Lucas has been able to form incredible bonds. Early on he struggled with eye contact and talking to others. Now, he loves to introduce himself and meet new people. Outings are more predictable, easily handled and enjoyed! ABC has helped him learn to communicate, build relationships and make “friends”. He is so affectionate and can’t help but give hugs to everyone most importantly his little sister. They play cars, trains, dress up and house and love to make each other laugh.

The staff has taught us so many tips and tricks along the way. We have learned to handle difficult situations, redirect behavior and prepare Lucas for changes in his routine. Lucas potty trained easily and the communication was seamless, allowing us to follow the same steps at home. Transitions from different activities and environments are less stressful on him and easily managed by us. He is able to travel on field trips to the zoo, shopping for presents for his family at holidays and swimming at the new Carmel center therapy pool, one of his favorite activities. New experiences are an adventure instead of scary and over stimulating.

Lucas and our entire family are fortunate to receive the best care, attention and advice ABC has to offer. The therapists truly love and care about him and he has developed more than we could have hoped, growing every day. He continues to amaze us!

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