There is Hope: Ben’s Story

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We all hear people tell us that we should not compare our children with others, but we all do it. At a year old, my oldest son had a vocabulary of over 100 words. So when Ben wasn’t using more than just a handful of words by the time he was two, we knew there was a problem. When we finally had him evaluated, our suspicions were confirmed. He has autism. We were devastated. We wondered if our son would ever be able to speak, run, play with other kids, or live on his own. We immediately got him into ST, OT, and PT. Eventually we got him into ABA therapy. All of these services were key in his development.

When he started preschool, he hid under the table throughout the day. In first grade, he was still very skittish, but the days of hiding under the table were done. He began having meltdowns whenever there was a fire drill. By the end of second grade, he had taught himself to multiply and was reading the same books his 11-year-old brother was reading. That summer, he played on the football team and made his first touchdown. Now he is the top reader in his grade and the only one in his class who has gotten 100% on all of his timed math tests.

We never thought these days would come! Yes, there are still meltdowns and daily struggles with social skills, but what incredible milestones Ben has accomplished!

Debra Smith
Coupeville, WA

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