Mauricio & AdamHi, I’m Mauricio, and my son Adam is the eldest of my 2 boys who are 15 months apart.
Adam was diagnosed with ASD at 2 and a half years of age after we noticed he was lagging behind his peers in language and his unwillingness to follow simple requests.
Adam has always been a happy, active and quite social boy who enjoys all types of physical activity, so while attending childcare once a week, the only concern that was posed to us was his language.
The diagnosis of ASD came as a real shock to us and changed our lives. There were moments of despair, of not knowing where to start in this process and uncertainty of what the future would hold for our son. After acquiring some initial knowledge we decided that we would lean towards evidence based programs for Adam.
Part of the ASD assessment, was to acquire a psychological report. This was carried out at Irabina in Officer.
Once the assessment was completed, we decided to continue with Irabina Speech and Occupational Therapy which was run by Bessie.
I began to see Adam responding favourably, not just to the therapy, but through the way in which he was loved and nurtured every single visit, he began to engage in each session.
He then started a one day per week group at Officer in the last term of 2014.
We enrolled for the 2015 Early Intensive Intervention Program, part-time which runs over 3 days Monday to Wednesday.
Adam is a very independent and confident boy and he immediately felt at home from the first day in the Intensive Group.
As a very demanding parent, I was looking for Adam to make ground in terms of this receptive and expressive language, general understanding of concepts, and most importantly his attention span.
All my expectations this year have been surpassed by a long way.
The main differences which we have noticed are in his behaviour, social abilities and attention span. We are able to engage with Adam using multiple strategies which enable us to achieve better communication in day to day activities.
He is now at a word combining stage consistently and can use his words to express a range of requests, emotions, and descriptions and has made up to 14 months of gains in 5 months on fine motor and visual reception abilities which is a massive leap. He has made substantial gains in his receptive and expressive language during this year, and we have been recommended to give him an extra session of one on one speech therapy this term, which we have started, and through this, he is already working towards better articulation.
I have been given concise reporting and feedback on Adam’s progress throughout the year, which is really necessary to understand how gains are measured. Through this, we have been able to agree moving forward on what is the best schooling process for next year. Adam is looking forward to 4 year old kinder next year and also further speech therapy at Irabina.
Adam has thoroughly enjoyed this year at Irabina, he has been looked after by some of the most caring, inspiring, loving and knowledgeable professionals, teachers, therapists and friends, who have touched his life and ours in a way which cannot be put into words. Every day when picking him up at the end of each session without fail, he has a big smile on his face and says goodbye to every single teacher.
And as for me, I have also met some amazing parents who are also on this life long journey of love and devotion for their children to grow, learn and to have the best start in life possible. We shall continue to meet during the summer for playdates with the kids, which is great.
Adam could not have found a better start on his journey, like the one we have found through Irabina.