Xander has been with Autism Partnership for exactly two years this month (April 2015). He was almost six-and-a-half years old by the time he started at Autism Partnership. From the time he was three, we had tried various kinds of interventions recommended both by his paediatrician, and by well-meaning associates. These interventions included speech and behavioural therapy, motor sensory interventions, and other alternative methods. Xander made very little progress in spite of intensive efforts and so by the age of six, was unable to communicate and frustrated. He would have frequent tantrums and public meltdowns because he could not make sense of his surroundings and was anxious and confused. Apart from feeding himself, he had not yet learnt the basic tasks of daily living, and was highly-dependent.
The turning point came when, in order to apply for exemption from Compulsory Education, we took him for a psychological assessment. It was during this assessment that the Psychologist recommended that we try Applied Behavioural Analysis. She explained that the systematic approach in ABA might be effective for Xander, who displayed motivation to learn but did not have the right tools to assimilate information from the world around him. To be frank, at that point, with progress stalled for so long, we were ready to try just about anything that did not involve medication or needles. She recommended that we make an appointment with AP, and we did that right away.
In the two years Xander has been with AP, we have seen him grow in so many areas. Although he has not yet developed speech, he now communicates and initiates communication, he independently performs tasks, he enjoys socialising. We now have a child who is no longer fearful or frustrated. The pride we see in his face when he masters a new task gives us immeasurable joy. Through the parent-training sessions with Xander’s supervisors, we have come to better understand how Xander learns, and thus our own interactions with him have become more effective. Although Xander still has miles to go, I am proud of how far he has already come and I am hopeful now that he might one day be ready for the big world out there.
Xander’s progress thus far is due entirely to the solid programme you have at AP, and dedication and commitment of his therapists and supervisors. This little boy of ours is a puzzle, a work-in-progress, we are excited to see what he has in store for us. Please keep up the good work!
Mr & Mrs Lim