We are the Sorenson family and have been blessed with two adopted sons. Our youngest son, Samuel, came to our family as an infant and it became clear that God had brought him into our lives so that we could meet his special needs. Samuel has amazing gifts of understanding geography, geometry, and remembers intriguing facts; as well as a wonderful sense of humor and a love for adventure. These come along with being on the autism spectrum, having a seizure disorder, and having mild cerebral palsy. We have tried many different therapies in the past, but none have given us the amazing success that we have seen working with Courtney at Horizons.
As Samuel’s mom I am a certified special education teacher. I am currently completing an Autism Endorsement through the State of Michigan. I am better equipped not only as a parent, but a teacher due to the instruction and constant feedback we receive through Horizons. The CORE Approach along with the other therapies we have learned through Horizons have better prepared me for positively interacting with students; even more than taking college classes.
Our programming through Horizons not only teaches us the CORE Approach, but also looks at all of the other areas that impact Samuel and his daily functioning. Horizons has helped us consider food and digestion issues, pointing us to highly trained and effective health care providers, working on visual perception, understanding reflexes, working on oral motor needs, meeting sensory needs, and so much more. Horizons has helped us to piece together a wonderful home program for Samuel. They were incredibly helpful as we decided to homeschool Samuel, offering assessment and curriculum ideas. Daily for school we are able to practice CORE goals, offer both occupational therapy and physical therapy throughout the day, as well as learning academics.
Life has become more peaceful and fun around our home. There are challenges that often occur, but we are better equipped to deal with them and understand how to “support” Samuel in dealing with challenges. We have seen Samuel have increased communication, less controlling behaviors, become more regulated in his body and relate to others more effectively. Samuel has an increased awareness of others emotions and a deep desire to have friendships. We have also seen Samuel be able to deal with challenges and changes with greater ease.
In conclusion, it seems that our life has been forever changed for the positive as God has allowed us to find Horizons and have this tremendous amount of learning and support in so many areas of dealing with Samuel and his special needs. I highly recommend the Horizons staff and continue to find that they want us, as parents, to be highly educated and equipped in understanding how to interact effectively with our children who have special needs.