We have a video of our daughter just as she was learning to walk. She’s jumping up and down and flapping her hands at her sides. Off camera, you can hear me say, “Look how excited she is”.
Fast forward six months from then and we knew she wasn’t hitting those milestones any more that every parent checks on occasionally.
I picked up a recent edition of Parents magazine and there on one page was a tiny little square with “Your Child May Have Autism If…” Three bullet points later I felt my heart in my throat. I knew I’d just read the answer to the questions we were beginning to ask ourselves.
From there we went through the normal channels of going to the doctor, eventually being referred to the intermediate school district, starting with home visits from an early childhood specialist. We worked very hard at implementing an alternative communications strategy and drove hours every other Saturday for speech therapy because if she could talk to us we’d be okay.
As she grew older it became apparent just getting her to communicate with us was the base of a mountain range which would loom above us in everything we did. We didn’t go places; we would drive separate when we did, just in case. We never made it through a day without some kind of major problem or issue.
At that time, Nicole was the autism consultant for our school district and came for a visit one day. Soon after that home visit she opened Horizons Developmental Remediation Center and sent us a nice note in the mail. That note was the best thing we’ve ever gotten in the mail.
We began family treatment with Michelle. The complete family support offered at Horizons has had a positive influence on our family.
Before Horizons, autism was in control of our lives. Their caring staff helped us see the issues at the core of our daughter’s autism and give us common sense ways to work with her, improving the quality of our life and hers.
Last summer we were able to go out of state for a long vacation and enjoy our time together, before Horizons that would not have been possible.