Autism and early intervention.

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
Long story short my son is currently being observed by a development specialist for possible Autism. He is a littler over a year and a half and some early signs of ASD are definitely present.

My wife and I are just grateful he is a happy healthy little boy, but it has still been somewhat hard to swallow at times. We’re going to be able to enroll him in therapy through early intervention, the research I’ve done has been uplifting as early intervention can help to an extent.

Just wondering if anyone else in the JC community has dealt with a child on the spectrum? I understand if you don’t want to respond in public, a PM will be more than fine with me. Just looking for advice from other pilots in similar circumstances that have figured out the best ways to help their children out, and just as important helping their spouse out as they are the ones home dealing with the day to day issues that arise. So far my wife has been a true champion about all of this. As parents, we don’t view this as a setback for our son, but are wanting to try anything possible to help him thrive in life.
 
Last edited:
My wife is a Registered Dietitian, I know in the past she’s mentioned people on the spectrum not eating sugar as it’s basically an opiate for them. I’m sure if he is someone will talk to you about it, but probably worth reading up on in the mean time.
 

Zapphod Beblebrox

Well-Known Member
My son was diagnosed over 25 years ago. If your child is less than two years old it is unlikely you will get a diagnosis of Autism. The reason being that the required developmental delays and deficits are not pronounced enough to qualify for the diagnosis. However if the signs are present a diagnosis of PDDNOS, or Pervasive Developmental Delay -Not Otherwise Specified may be used. This could change to Autism when the child is older and can be evaluated better.

In most states PDDNOS will allow you to get access to support and intervention. I live in a state, PA, where my son's behavioral intervention was paid for due to this diagnosis. The current recommended standard therapy is Intensive Applied Behavior Analysis. It's a program developed by a psychologist named Ole Ivar Lovass, a Norwegian / American clinical psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. His therapy / program has had great success in helping Autistic and PDDNOS children.

I am sorry to hear of your son's condition. However there is life after a diagnosis. My son, now 27, is still a fine person, funny, has a great singing voice, and is very well behaved and friendly. Most of this is as a result of his early behavioral intervention.
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
Well this Covid situation really put the early intervention on the back burner. The first month we had weekly phone calls instead of the house visits, but apparently the workers are now on furlough in our county. Those house visits were excellent for my son and for us, so that’s a bummer. Any chance of getting my son on ABA before November is done. I will say even with just my wife and I working with him he is making strong progress. At a few months shy of two years, he lacks all vocabulary but occasionally tries to toddler talk. He is becoming a lot more interactive, in my last stretch of days off I’d say I’ve noticed the most changes to date.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
@JDean3204

My wife runs the birth-to-three early intervention program in our county, and the work they are putting in to support families within the constraints of the current situation is pretty incredible. I can see how the obstacles could cause a fall-off of quality of services in many places.

She is, obviously, a huge proponent of early intervention.

I asked her for input on your situation and she highly recommends these resources for parents:

autismnavigator.com

hanen.org
...especially the book and dvd “More Than Words

Both of these resources have very good strategies for all parents to use in daily routines while raising their children, but are especially effective for children with spectrum type development issues.

She said be very careful about non-vetted information and resources on the internet. There is a lot of wack ideas and suggestions out there.

She also stressed the idea that just because a child may get an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis does not necessarily mean they will be limited later in life, just that they do/learn things differently. She said they often joke that some of the kids they work with will probably end up making way more money down the road than they do.

Based on her personal experiences she believes that many engineer/pilot types could well be on the spectrum (hey, wait a minute!).
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
JDean....like SteveC, my wife is also in the early intervention business as a BCBA. I think her sentiments largely mirror those that Steve wrote.

I know a large part of her job has actually been working with the parents. She obviously can't be there all the time, and the parents become the default therapists the other 50-70% of the time, so it's important that they understand the process and goals and such. Sounds like you guys are doing just that. Your attitude is a good one. Tons of children (dare I say all) have developmental road blocks along the way to adult hood, not just kids on the spectrum. Looking at it as just another challenge that you can help your kid overcome is a great way of looking at it.
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
@JDean3204

My wife runs the birth-to-three early intervention program in our county, and the work they are putting in to support families within the constraints of the current situation is pretty incredible. I can see how the obstacles could cause a fall-off of quality of services in many places.

She is, obviously, a huge proponent of early intervention.

I asked her for input on your situation and she highly recommends these resources for parents:

autismnavigator.com

hanen.org
...especially the book and dvd “More Than Words

Both of these resources have very good strategies for all parents to use in daily routines while raising their children, but are especially effective for children with spectrum type development issues.

She said be very careful about non-vetted information and resources on the internet. There is a lot of wack ideas and suggestions out there.

She also stressed the idea that just because a child may get an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis does not necessarily mean they will be limited later in life, just that they do/learn things differently. She said they often joke that some of the kids they work with will probably end up making way more money down the road than they do.

Based on her personal experiences she believes that many engineer/pilot types could well be on the spectrum (hey, wait a minute!).
Thank you for the links to those resources, I’ll be ordering that book today. The thing that agitated me is this is the point in his young life where the help was greatly aiding him in overcoming some road blocks in the process. So to see all that external quality help disappear has been hard, especially for my wife. As long as he continues to make progress, granted on his own timeline vs the “normal” is all we care about. Thanks again

edit**. I hope that doesn’t come across as selfish, I am completely aware that there are many families dealing with a myriad of issues without outside help that existed a few months ago. I now understand the frustration of being a parent and wanting something for your kid so bad that it can make or break your own day. It’s a deep feeling of knowing he will one day overcome or at least cope better, it will just take time and even more effort from me in the meantime.
 
Last edited:

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
JDean....like SteveC, my wife is also in the early intervention business as a BCBA. I think her sentiments largely mirror those that Steve wrote.

I know a large part of her job has actually been working with the parents. She obviously can't be there all the time, and the parents become the default therapists the other 50-70% of the time, so it's important that they understand the process and goals and such. Sounds like you guys are doing just that. Your attitude is a good one. Tons of children (dare I say all) have developmental road blocks along the way to adult hood, not just kids on the spectrum. Looking at it as just another challenge that you can help your kid overcome is a great way of looking at it.
Thank you for that.

Im more so worried about how my wife is handling it. Last year I took a job that requires 16 days on the road so she has a lot on her plate when I’m gone with keeping him on that path of progression. Now that those valuable external resources aren’t available she does feel alone in the process, but she is doing a phenomenal job imo. When I’m home, I make sure that every minute I can soak up with him, teaching and playing with him doesn’t go to waste. We will be looking into those links that Steve-C sent and ordering that book. It sounds a little cheesy but we really get excited for the small victories, even though at almost age two, voice imitating would be a flag to some, for us it’s a relief because atleast he is starting to verbalize something. Gives us hope that’s for sure.
 
Last edited:
Top