Autism Success Story: Thirteen Year Old Replaces Aggression With Cooperation
All Names Changed For Privacy
Brian and Sarah had a strained relationship with thirteen-year-old Neil. In Brian and Sarah’s eyes, he was an uncontrollable and aggressive preteen who couldn’t be taken out in public and who had to be given firm orders if there was any hope of compliance. Neil would hit, scratch, and push others.
In Neil’s eyes, his parents were cold and distant. He didn’t trust them and felt stifled by their authoritarian approach.
Lest we judge Brian and Sarah harshly, it’s important to provide some key context. Neil could be violent at times. He frequently burst out loudly both in public and in private and was non-compliant with his parents. He stayed mostly to himself, absorbed in his narrow interests, and showed little interest in relationships with other people.
Brian and Sarah really did want to connect with Neil, but they couldn’t break through the walls of anger and defiance that seemed to surround him.
On December 9, 2019, Brian and Sarah enrolled Neil in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy with NESS Behavior Consulting.
Our first challenge was to find a way to relate to Neil where he was at. We brought items of interest to him (such as Legos, comics, and an iPad) so that he would feel open to getting to know us.
We also coached Brian and Sarah on how to develop a better relationship with Neil. They learned to set firm boundaries without being authoritarian, how to give Neil options instead of simply telling him what to do, and how to gain his trust.
We also taught Brian and Sarah to create clear incentives to stop being aggressive, and to behave in ways that are socially appropriate.
It wasn’t easy to get Neil to stop being aggressive and grow out of his socially inappropriate behaviors. But in the end, the difficulty was well worth it.
Neil made incredible leaps and bounds. He is no longer aggressive and he doesn’t burst out with rage. Brian and Sarah feel comfortable taking Neil out in public and are developing a much closer relationship with him. Everybody is communicating more effectively.
The Secret to Neil’s Success
So, what was it that helped Neil 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 Neil 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 Neil 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
Here's What To Do Next
Below there is a form you’ll need to fill out, and on the following page you’ll be asked to pick a time to schedule your session: