Jackson 2 of 3- LOST

The days after the diagnosis were a blur, filled with research, tears and lists. Endless lists. The waitlists for services for children with autism is long and seemingly endless. When my son was diagnosed they suggested that we continue the speech therapy but also include ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), occupational therapy and physical therapy to try to fix his toe walking. The waitlist for ABA therapy was at least 6 months long for most companies. I spent days filling out paperwork, scanning and emailing documents and calling more and more providers. I was able to get my son into occupational therapy and physical therapy at the same place, and even though it was a 45-minute drive we went twice a week. Me, Jackson and our 6 month old baby Maria. Jackson improved his fine motor skills, got better at brushing his teeth and was able to sit at a table and complete tasks with occupational therapy. With physical therapy a pair of AFO’s (Ankle Foot Orthotics) his toe walking greatly improved. With changes in his diet (gluten free, dairy free) we saw immediate improvements with his sleeping pattern. It was believed that his lack of sleep was a result of cramping in his stomach from trying to process the gluten, once removed, he felt better and slept better. At the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix conference we ran into representatives from SARRC (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center). I wanted to jump right in, max ABA, 1:1 training, go go go go go… but they insisted that we start with Jumpstart. And I am so happy they did. Without Jumpstart I would have been lost for a long time. At Jumpstart I found community, I found answers, and I found a company passionate about helping these children. They did this by first helping the parents; by educating the parents about navigating the system, by teaching the parents how to understand their child’s behavior, and teaching the parents how to apply the basics of ABA therapy. Thanks to them, we were no longer lost.

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