The Redman Family
I was at a routine paediatrician appointment for my eldest son, who has ASD, when I knew in my heart we would soon be going down the same path with Jayden. He was just one-year old at the time.
We received confirmation a year later, and although I was suspecting the diagnosis for quite some time, hearing the words was very surreal. I was now the mother of two beautiful children with autism.
Jayden was attending a mainstream daycare at the time, but could never settle into their routine and was always distressed at drop-off and acting out towards other children due to the high sensory input of the daily activities. It was the director of this centre who first made the suggestion of switching to AEIOU Foundation. I spent countless hours researching ABA methods and the recommended hours of early intervention for children with atypical development and all my research pointed to the benefits of evidence-based early intervention in improving development and independence.
When we started with AEIOU Townsville, the major challenges Jayden faced were in the areas of self-help, communication, behaviour and social interaction. He was not toilet-trained, despite a year of trying and was also non-verbal, making little sound unless he was upset. He showed no interest in interacting with me or anyone else and could not follow simple instructions. In addition, he was acting out when experiencing a sensory overload or desired an item another person was holding.
It took only two months of a collaborative effort with staff for Jayden to experience success in toileting. Over the past 10 months, Jayden has started using words spontaneously. He now sings along to songs and is more interactive with adults. Probably one of the most treasured developments for me is that he now calls me 'Mum' and notices when I am around. He is able to follow some simple instructions and is beginning to share with others. When he walks into the centre each day, he packs his belongings away, walks outside to the playground, gives me a kiss and waves goodbye.
With every little development Jayden makes through AEIOU, life gets a little bit easier not only for Jayden but our whole family. We celebrate each one of these new skills and it is wonderful to see his siblings share in the joy. I truly believe with the right support and assistance; the sky is the limit for Jayden.
I don’t believe you can ever know too much about your child and their diagnosis. There is no such thing as a silly question, especially when it comes to your family’s wellbeing. And who better to ask than the countless specialists and trained professionals you will encounter in those early years at AEIOU. The knowledge and skills you gain will help you advocate not only for your child, but other families in similar situations.
By Desley RedmanBack to Stories
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