The Austin Family
I knew that my son Jackson was different from his peers when he was only one year old. Our extended family had 4 babies within 3 months of each other and our son was nothing like his cousins. My husband and I tried to excuse his differences because he was the only boy in the bunch, but at the age of two when he hadn’t uttered a single word we took him in for an evaluation with our local school district. The word Autism entered our lives about 20 minutes later. For the next year we lived in denial. We could accept he had a speech delay and that he had sensory issues, but couldn’t accept the diagnosis.
For that entire year I cried every day because I knew the truth. Finally, after one long, trying day at home with Jackson I told my husband, “We have to accept this, Jackson has Autism.” We were finally ready. Jeff and I dove head first into various therapies and treatments. Our basement looked like an OT office with the swing, slide, trampoline, ball pit and crash pillows. Our medicine cabinet was taken over with supplements, enzymes, vitamins and other neutriceuticals. We went to parent groups, child play groups and a neurophysiologist, but nothing changed.
Through a happy accident at one of our play groups another mother mentioned Horizons. We immediately went home and looked at the Horizons website. Instantly it seemed like the right fit. All the other places we took Jack would tell us that our son had Autism, but wouldn’t give any solutions. When we started to learn about Horizons and the CORE Approach it was such a revelation. If something seems to make perfectly logical sense, why not give it a try?
It has been so amazing to go through this experience with our son. Learning how to use his play activities to help him overcome his difficulties has been such a blessing. Not only is he making amazing gains developmentally it has given our family something we thought we could not have, a relationship with our son. I went 5 years without hearing the word “Mama”. Three months ago my little boy grabbed my hand and said, “I want Mama” simply because he wanted to play with me. There is no greater gift.
Thank you CORE Approach, thank you Horizons and thank you Erin.