Autism Success Story: Ten-Year-Old Starts To Catch Up On Basic Life Skills
All Names Changed For Privacy
Benny Brown was not like other ten-year-old boys. He was unable to speak, sit down to eat, use a fork and knife, or follow simple one-step directions outside (like “turn right”).
When Benny needed to ask for something, he did so by pushing or pulling an adult toward the item, flopping on the floor, or making loud noises while flapping his hands.
Benny engaged in repetitive and self-stimulative, behaviors such as mouthing, had poor attention span, and lacked self-direction. He lacked basic selfcare skills such as the ability to wash his hands or clean up after meals, and didn’t listen to his parents.
Benny also couldn’t use the bathroom on his own or play with other kids.
His parents, Erica and Dylan, had tried hard to get Benny the help he needed. They even moved to a new school district so he’d have better resources.
My name is Desirie Sykes, and I am a Behavior Consultant and the founder of NESS Behavior Consulting Inc. On Monday, May 7, 2018, Benny was enrolled in ABA therapy under my supervision and care. I developed both short term and long term goals for Benny so that he could live a happier and more independent life.
I also coached Erica and Dylan on how to effectively manage Benny and help him improve even when a therapist wasn’t around.
It didn’t take long for Benny to become comfortable with the staff and he started to improve on a number of fronts.
We accompanied Benny to settings like the grocery store and dentist. We sat down with him at family dinners. If Benny needed help, we were there.
After three months, Benny had learned some important skills. He could now communicate his needs with a communication device. He could sit down nicely for long periods of time, use a fork, and share toys with others. Benny flaps his hands much less often, and he uses the bathroom on his own.
Erica and Dylan celebrated the small successes and looked forward, with patience, to a brighter and more independent future for Benny.
The Secret to Benny's Success
So, what was it that helped Benny develop so quickly? How did he end up on a trajectory to live a much fuller and happier life?
One element is seeing each child as a holistic individual with their own strengths, weaknesses, and ways of communicating.
But the most important factor that helped Benny is the fact that his parents took action and got the help their child needed.
They appreciated that the longer you wait to get help, the longer it takes to help your child. They decided that they didn’t want to stall or delay or look into it “someday.”
Now look where Benny is.
The Cost of Autism
According to a study posed in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the lifetime cost of care for a person with autism is $1,400,000 to $2,400,000. That includes medical, nonmedical, and indirect costs.
Approximately 79% of those expenses are services like medical care, home health care, special education, and after-school care. A further 9% is due to wages that the parents give up in order to care for their child.
Home health care for adults with autism ranges from $18,080 to $36,161 yearly – double the cost of medical care.
That’s why one of our top goals is to help our clients develop the tools they need to be able to live and thrive independently as adults, so you don’t have to pay for home care.
And the sooner you get started, the greater an impact our services will have.
The parents who work with us feel they are making a great investment in their child. It turns out they are also making a great investment in their financial future.
There's Hope For Every Child
Imagine train tracks that stretch all the way to the horizon. If you alter the course of those train tracks just a couple of degrees, they will end up miles away from where they point now.
ABA therapy is about helping your child change direction now, so they end up at a totally different destination in the future.
By helping children with autism learn the communication, social, and life skills they need, we can help them live more independently for the rest of their lives.
There is hope for every child.
Now It's Your Turn
Would you like to get help for your child? Our team of highly experienced professionals has many decades of combined experience helping kids with autism.
We can look at ways to address whatever is on your mind, including:
Signs of autism
Helping you set up a diagnostic evaluation
Social skills issues
Difficulty performing routines