Jedd Roadknight is one of our first students at AEIOU Adelaide. Here his mother Laura, a teacher, tells us what a fantastic opportunity it is for them and other Adelaide families to have our intensive early intervention service available in South Australia.
Our son Jedd was diagnosed with ASD only six months ago. It was an emotional roller coaster for our family, as around the same time we welcomed our second son Maklin in to the world. Life was pretty tough, trying to raise a newborn baby and care for Jedd at the same time. It was taking its toll both physically and emotionally.
After the diagnosis we started researching ASD and therapy options available in South Australia. Through this process we were very fortunate to make contact with so many wonderful people and organisations who happily provided information that helped us on our journey.
We jumped on their website and immediately knew it was what we wanted for Jedd. They provide evidence based therapy in a child-care setting, where children are encouraged to socialise, play, communicate and learn. I love that they have a real focus on promoting independence, and help with basic everyday life skills like toileting, eating, getting dressed, following instructions, and behaviour management. We didn’t care how much it cost or how far away it was...we just had such a good feeling about it and were willing to do whatever it took to get him there. We put his name on the wait list and within a few months the centre opened its doors and here we are seven weeks later. And we couldn’t be happier! SA is so fortunate to have an AEIOU centre here in Adelaide.
Our little Jeddy started at the Huntfield Height centre full-time and settled in so well thanks to the amazing staff and he is doing things that I never thought possible in such a short amount of time. For example, it has always been such a struggle to get Jedd to wear a hat. After one day at the centre he was wearing a hat. He wouldn’t even take it off to eat his dinner that night! He also hated people singing songs and always told me to “stop sing Mama”. Now he loves singing songs and loves circle time - the staff actually have to make him wait his turn he’s so eager join in singing and dancing! Jedd also never liked drinking water, only juice. He would throw his bottle at me if I gave him water. Now he drinks water. I don’t know how they did it, but they did it! These things may seem small in comparison to others, but to us they have been a huge step in Jedd’s development and a huge accomplishment in regards to him following instructions.
The structure of the day at AEIOU and the daily routine was very clear from the beginning which has helped Jedd understand the expectations of him. It was very difficult in the beginning for him, as he does not like being told what to do EVER, but he learnt very quickly. On arrival he now walks in to the classroom wearing his backpack, puts his lunch and drink bottle in the fridge and greets the staff. At lunchtime Jedd hands out all the children’s lunch boxes. He’s sitting on the toilet, attempting to put his shoes on and off, applying sunscreen on his face, using his PECS cards to communicate and is copying more and more words every day. We actually can’t shut him up at home. It’s amazing what he has achieved in only a few weeks, just imagine where he’ll be in six months or a year’s time! We’re feeling really positive about Jedd’s future now, and are hopeful that he will attend a mainstream school.
The AEIOU Adelaide staff are absolutely amazing. From day one they made us feel welcome. There’s an iPad on display in the foyer that shows photos and videos of the day’s activities, which I look forward to seeing every day, and the staff are always happy to have a chat and share stories with us. It is so obvious the AEIOU staff love the children and love their jobs.
As a teacher myself, I know how difficult it can be for children to transition into a new school. The centre provides so much support to make this process as smooth as possible. Our main goals for Jedd are to attend a mainstream school and be able to make some meaningful friendships. I honestly believe that AEIOU will provide the best early intervention therapy available to help us achieve these goals. Thank you AEIOU for making the move to Adelaide. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all the AEIOU Adelaide parents by saying we are truly blessed to have you here and I know Jedd is now going to get the best support and start in life thanks to the Foundation.
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