By Lindsey and Kyle N. (Lucas’ Parents)
Lucas was a happy toddler who loved playing with trains but at 2 years old he struggled with communicating, eye contact and developmental milestones. Screaming and crying were every day occurrences and seemed constant. He wouldn’t respond to his name and his 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 frustrated.
Reluctant to accept that there were any issues, 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 we began to see minor improvements. We knew, however, that many more improvements were needed. His therapists helped us to realize that Lucas needed a specialist. The following spring, our son was diagnosed with Autism. The doctor immediately recommended ABA Therapy.
Knowing his struggles with social interactions and new environments, it was difficult to imagine sending Lucas to therapy for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I wanted to believe that everything he needed for his development could be provided by us but eventually we had to face the truth.
Thankfully, we found ABC and immediately began to see the changes in Lucas! It didn’t take long to realize that he was at the best place possible. A routine started to emerge which included easier bedtimes and less meltdowns. It was not long before the words started! We began to hear, “Bye. I love you Mom and Dad,” at his morning drop-off.
The changes in Lucas are incredible. We saw that our Lucas is able to learn, play and have fun. Now he loves to say the alphabet, count, and explore books on his own. Early on, he struggled with eye contact and talking to others. Now he loves to introduce himself and meet new people.
Outings are now easily handed and even enjoyed! ABC has helped him communicate, build relationships and make friends. He is very 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 ABC staff has taught us so many tips and tricks along the way. We have learned how to handle difficult situations, redirect problem behaviors and prepare Lucas for changes in his routine. ABC also potty trained Lucas easily and with seamless communication. This allowed 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 take all kinds of trips now such as field trips to the zoo and holiday shopping trips to the mall. He also loves swimming at the new therapy pool inside of ABC’s Carmel Center. There was a time when these new experiences would have been overwhelming and scary to Lucas. Now he sees them as fun and exciting.
Lucas and our entire family are fortunate to receive the best care, attention and advice that 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!