We also have a son with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He is 10 years old, and we’ve been working with him at Horizons for 4 years now. We are so grateful that we found them and their approach before we were steered down the path of any of the other therapies that are out there.
Our son Michael attends fourth grade in public school. He has good days and bad days. Most of his challenges at school are due to his inability to interact appropriately with his classmates. Our biggest challenge is to help Mike to be aware that not everybody thinks like him. The CORE Approach at Horizons is helping us to do that. It is a slow process but it is worth every bit of effort.
Before we began this program, conversations with Michael were one-sided. Our questions either went unanswered or the answer that came was unrelated to the question. He would recite dialogue from videos or recount scenes from them instead of listening to the person who was talking to him. Now his conversation skills are much more normal. He consistently answers questions thoughtfully. We have much more ground to cover, but we feel that we are reaching a part of him that helps us understand each other.
Another area where we see great improvement is in Michael’s desire to “check in” with us to see whether we are reacting to what he’s doing or to find out if his actions were good or bad. Before, he would go about his business oblivious to what we thought. He now gets great pleasure out of knowing that we approve of his choices or decisions, and there’s nothing like the joy that comes when you can make those connections (real connections) with your child! Another wonderful development is the transition our son is making from being obstinate, angry and frustrating, to being a willing participant in many activities. He’s more and more fun to be with.
We live in Minnesota but work with Horizons even though they are in Michigan. When we first met Nicole at a workshop we were so impressed with her, and she gave us such confidence in ourselves and in her ability to help us, that we now commute to Michigan twice a year for update assessments. We speak with Nicole once a month for an hour on the phone, and then send her videos of the activities we are doing with Michael. She communicates with us via e-mail with feedback on the video. She is a very encouraging coach and always has answers to our many questions.
We feel that our continued work with Horizons and CORE Approach is the best decision we can make for our son and his future. It is helping us to share each other’s lives and have a relationship that would otherwise not be possible.
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