By: Megan C. (Mother of Liam & Finnegan)
When our twin boys, Liam and Finnegan, were diagnosed with autism, all my focus and attention went to finding people who could help them learn. I was so sure of their potential- when I looked at them I saw smart, happy, spirited little boys who saw and felt the world in a way that was foreign to me. I was convinced that despite the diagnosis, they were just as capable as anyone else to learn and grow, and I wanted to find a way to connect with them and have a better relationship with them. I had been advised that ABA therapy was the best way to help my boys learn, so I enrolled them in ABA therapy at another center. At the time, Finnegan said a few words but had no functional language and Liam was completely nonverbal. I was apprehensive about sending them to therapy, as they were usually home with me all day, but I knew that one-on-one therapy was best for them and was something I obviously couldn’t provide for them myself.
Their time at the other therapy center wasn’t anything I was expecting. I felt completely left in the dark about my kids’ days, and I didn’t see much improvement in my boys. I wanted my children to talk, but more importantly I wanted my children to communicate in any form they could, and I didn’t see much improvement. I needed someone outside my family to see the same potential in my boys that I did, and most importantly, I wanted my children to be children- to have fun and be able to play with other children and play as they learn. I felt therapy had become “work” for my boys and knew they were frustrated at not being able to communicate. They weren’t happy and had heightened behaviors at home and zero confidence in themselves. I was convinced ABA therapy was not right for us.
My husband and I decided to give ABA therapy one more chance with the Applied Behavior Center for Autism. We started the boys at ABC last October, hopeful that it was the perfect place where our boys can learn and grow in a fun environment. From day one, we have been met with an incredible staff that believes in our children. At our first parent meeting, we were met with raves about how smart our boys are and how much potential they have. The staff worked with our boys on improving communication, and in a short amount of time, Finnegan began talking in short sentences and making requests. Liam was able to learn to make requests using sign language, and 5 months into starting at ABC, he said his very first words! He is now able to make requests for what he wants and needs with ease.
Both of my boys are now using short sentences to communicate. Every milestone that my children make has been met with cheers from their therapists. My husband and I are always informed of everything my boys do. My kids are allowed to be kids- they play with other children and play with toys and games that interest them, and they literally run to their therapy rooms each day because they’re so excited to be there!
Liam and Finnegan both have therapy plans that are catered specifically to each of them. They participate in one-on-one treatments such as behavior consulting, social skills training, ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, special needs swim lessons and more.
ABC treats my children with a level of respect they deserve. They are praised and celebrated for who they are and they are encouraged to learn and grow daily. Their therapists work under the assumption that my children can learn and do anything. My children are valued at ABC, and it has made such a difference in their development. Every child deserves to be treated as if they are capable of anything, and my boys’ therapists have helped them discover that anything is possible. That dedication and support from their therapists have made such a difference with them. I want my children to grow up with confidence and determination and pride in who they are. ABC is giving them a solid foundation for that confidence. They have found a place where they belong, and for that I’m so thankful.