What Early Support Will Make Possible for a Child with Autism

You never know what early support will make possible in someone's life. For my grandson, it helped him learn to speak. #autism #autistic #earlysupport #speechtheraphy #fmfparty #possibility

You never know what early support will make possible in someone’s life. For my grandson, it helped him learn to speak.

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

You never know what early support will make possible in someone's life. For my grandson, it helped him learn to speak. #autism #autistic #earlysupport #speechtheraphy #fmfparty #possibility

My Grandson Has Autism but it Doesn’t Define Him

“I can’t believe how much Abel has grown since January,” I exclaimed. “And not just in height. His vocabulary has grown, his sense of humor, and he knows so much!”

“Right?” my daughter, Laura, replied.

“He’s told me at least once every day since I arrived that he loves me. He’s never done that before!”

“He says such heart-melting things. It’s hard to believe he could barely talk a year and a half ago.”

“What a testament to what early intervention will make possible for a child with autism.”

“I prefer to call it early support instead of early intervention,” she said.

“That does sound better,” I agreed.

Whenever Laura and I leave the house without Abel, we tend to talk about him nonstop or every conversation somehow comes back to him, his accomplishments, funny sayings, or sweet personality.

Laura has advocated for Abel ever since she realized his speech was delayed. She started him in speech therapy and sought a diagnosis. In addition, she spent hours researching and advocating for him.

And now? A four-year-old who only had a few words in his toolbox and didn’t know how to express his frustrations so adults could understand can talk and express himself with precision and creativity. He also knows the names of all the planets in our solar system (including the dwarf planets) and a host of other crazy facts about things that interest him.

Without that early support from speech and occupational therapists and a team of teachers at his developmental preschool, he wouldn’t have the tools to handle the vicissitudes of life.

What Will Hope Make Possible?

When Laura first found out about Abel’s diagnosis, things felt a little hopeless. But he had already spent several months in speech therapy and his progress gave her hope. You can read about her advocacy efforts on a guest post she did for me.

Hope, no matter how small, will make it possible to sort out the overwhelming amount of advice and information and come to an informed decision on how best to provide early support.

And that early support makes all the difference. Autism isn’t one of those one-size-fits-all sort of things, so not every child will respond exactly the same to early support. But every child will benefit from it. And the progress they make will make possible more progress.

It also provides a lesson for all of us. What difference can we make in someone else’s life by planting seeds of hope or providing early support in whatever journey they’re on?  

You never know what early support will make possible in someone's life. For my grandson, it helped him learn to speak. #autism #autistic #earlysupport #speechtheraphy #fmfparty #possibility
Hope makes things seem possible. Who can you share hope with today? Click To Tweet

11 Comments

  1. Who knows just what she might be,
    who can say what he’ll achieve;
    from the acorn comes the tree
    if we nurture, and believe
    that greatness is what lies within,
    planted there by God Himself,
    and we are His kith and kin,
    not meant to linger on the shelf,
    but to raise our sisters high,
    and to be our brothers’ keeper,
    for it’s thus that we draw nigh
    to Christ himself, and plunge deeper
    into what He’s made essential,
    the compassion that’s our best potential.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Scars of GoldMy Profile

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Having served urban children and families for over 15 years, the most crucial lesson I learned was that, in so many situations, hope is the key. It can not only provide a foundation for success, often times it is the lifeline to survival. Thanks and blessings!
    Alice Walters recently posted…Road to the Cross: Game On!My Profile

  3. I have subbed often in classes with students who have autism. Watching their progress amazes me. I am not always in there to see the day to day changes but throughout the year (and years), I see the evidence of all who have clung to hope with them. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Early support is so important. I have a son who was diagnosed in 3rd grade with Central Auditory Processing Disorder – it is on the aspberger/autism spectrum. Sadly, what could have been so crucial for him was communication coaching which is only available at deafness centers. I’ve written two children’s books to help kids and adults to break down processes – one is about understanding how you treat others is how they see you and the other is about understanding you are not responsible for every sad, mad, angry frowny face you see! I am so glad there is so much more help today than in the early 90s! Thanks for sharing your story – such beautiful encouragement to act!

  5. It’s good to know that Laura decided to enroll her son in speech therapy. My daughter is also having a hard time with L and R sounds and can’t pronounce words very well, despite the need to convey her thoughts. It would probably be better for us to consult a speech pathologist and see if she’ll be required to attend a few sessions to help her speak better.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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