The Horizons Developmental Remediation Center has made a huge impact on both our daughter’s life and our lives as parents. We have been in their program for over two years and have seen dramatic improvement in Elizabeth’s ability to deal with change, her competence level, and her self-esteem.
When Elizabeth, age 9, was first diagnosed with autism our doctor recommended we contact Horizons right away. Besides being impressed with the Horizons staff, one of the things that first attracted us to their program was the focus on remediation – having an opportunity to “do over” areas of development that are impacted by the autism. It struck us at a common sense approach, and one that would enrich our parenting experience with our neurotypical son as well.
We began working with our consultant, Nicole, who has guided us to understand each aspect of the program, built up our confidence in our parenting abilities, and in the process helping take away the “bad parent” feeling we felt prior to treatment. Nicole knows when to push us as coaches and when Elizabeth is ready for new challenges. This push has helped all of us grow in new and exciting ways.
Because Horizons offers an array of services to address co-occurring needs of individuals with autism, we have also been able to receive feeding therapy for our daughter. Her combination of autism and sensory issues led to a severely limited diet and what felt like an insurmountable amount of anxiety about food and eating. Nicole and Erin, our feeding therapists, have been able to gradually improve Elizabeth’s comfort level around food while working on the sensory and motor issues that were barriers to successful feeding. We no longer have to take her special foods with us when we travel or go out to eat – Elizabeth can now always find things on the menu that she will eat. Gone are the days when we have to worry about purchasing specific brands of the four or five things she will eat, because she has branched out to many new foods and is no longer brand-specific in her food choices. There is still work to be done in this area, but we are on the right path and see the tangible results of treatment on a daily basis.
Elizabeth’s development has improved exponentially over the past two years. She enjoys school and spends the majority of her day in a regular third grade classroom without aide support. She has genuine friendships and is comfortable doing many things she would not even think about doing before due to her fear of change and new experiences. People who meet Elizabeth now don’t have any idea that she was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. She continues to amaze us with what she can do, and we continue to enjoy the improved quality of life for our entire family that working on remediation brings.
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