Samantha began attending the Applied Behavior Center in January of 2013, when she was 5 years old. The center came highly recommended by a coworker of mine so after sending Sam to a developmental pre-school for 2 years, we decided to try ABC for Autism.
When she started at ABC, she was unable to communicate with us. She couldn't tell us what she wanted, felt or needed. Her behaviors were uncontrollable. She would cry, scream and throw fits because she lacked communication skills. She was also unable to use the restroom even though we tried to potty-train her for the previous 2 years.
The difference in Sam was almost immediate. She was potty trained in just 8 weeks. She started talking and putting two words together. She had decreases in rocking, blabbing, and other repetitive behaviors.
One of the best moments for us was mid-May of 2013. We were tucking in Sam for the night and as we walked out her room, in her perfect soft little girl voice she said "Mommy...I...love...you". I whipped around and turned on the light exclaiming "what did you say!!??" She giggled at my excitement and would not repeat herself.
I tucked her in again and left her room crying almost hysterically. My non-verbal, minimal affection, autistic baby girl just told me in a complete sentence that she loved me. She put 4 words together that made sense and used it in a proper manner. Not only that, my daughter had just told me for the first time ever that she loved me. She LOVED me.
The advancements Sam continues to make are so inspiring. She talks, sings (Taylor Swift ALL the time!) and interacts with us. We are able to go out to dinner and Sam can order for herself. She says please and thank you.
Our family has been able to finally do activities as a whole. Before Clint or I would stay home with Sam while the other took our two older daughters to the zoo or the movies. We no longer have to do that.
Sam plays soccer with TOPS, a special needs league sponsored by the SCSA. We took her to her first Colts game, which she loved. Our family was also able to take our first family vacation and we took the girls on a Disney cruise.
The ABA therapists at The Applied Behavioral Center are amazing people. They don't even know how much they have changed our lives and helped our family. I am a Registered Nurse in the NICU. My job is dedicated to caring for infants and their families. When people tell me how much they appreciate what we do, I understand that feeling of gratitude now. I feel the same way for what The Applied Behavior for Autism has done and continues to do for our Samantha. She is a beautiful, bright, and smart little girl and I think we are just skimming the top of what she will be able to achieve as she continues with her growth and development at ABC.