A mother’s worries were eased when The Warren Center’s autism assessment team was able to evaluate her son and provide her with much-needed resources.
When Bradley’s* mother first decided to seek a medical autism evaluation, Bradley had already been receiving speech therapy at The Warren Center.
Although he was showing progress towards his goals, his mother knew it was going to be a long road. She first reached out to several other providers seeking an autism evaluation and was told the wait was at least 12 to 18 months or thousands of dollars out of pocket. She knew Bradley would need all the support he could get, and yet this process still sounded daunting.
Bradley was one of the first on the list when sign ups for the autism assessment team began. This certainly cut the wait time down significantly and Bradley was on the schedule in the first three months of opening. Bradley’s mother responded to questionnaires, participated in structured interviews with the psychologist, and provided more examples of his everyday behaviors and abilities to the assessment team who were all ears.
Bradley was hesitant but cooperative during the direct assessment, and Bradley’s mother seemed relieved to finally get a diagnosis that afternoon during the feedback session. Not only did she receive answers to her questions, but the team also provided a list of resources and recommendations and a plan for the next steps along the journey.
Within weeks of this assessment and confirming a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, Bradley participated in an occupational therapy evaluation and began receiving services to promote motor functioning, sensory processing, and self care independence. His mother contacted Bradley’s school to inform them of the medical diagnosis, and he began receiving additional supports in the classroom.
Doors opened everywhere, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services that helped him truly blossom in his abilities. Even though Bradley still continues to need and receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA services, he was able to start much earlier than his mother first feared.
Bradley was almost four years old at the time of his initial evaluation and diagnosis. Now, just over a year later, his therapists say he has progressed so much that it is hard to believe this is the same young boy. He is expected to begin kindergarten in the fall. Even though he still needs support from his family and team of providers, his mother has a much brighter outlook than if she had to wait until now to begin services.
*Name changed to respect family’s privacy