After Lorri and Kurt were referred to Easterseals Midwest for services when Ciara was first diagnosed with autism, Lorri remembers how relieved she was when she learned her family didn’t need to be uprooted in order to get help—one of the Easterseals Midwest offices is located right near their home.
At the time that Lorri and Kurt first started receiving In-Home Parent Training from Easterseals Midwest, Ciara was virtually nonverbal. Her parents had to guess what she wanted, which caused frustration for Ciara and her parents.
"Before receiving services, it was trial and error,” remembers Kurt. “Now, we know right away or very quickly because she can communicate that to us."
During In-Home Parent Training, our staff conducts therapy sessions with the individual with autism, and the family observes and participates to learn how to resolve problem behaviors and how to use appropriate techniques in various situations. The parents’ active involvement in training is critical to the success and effectiveness of the program.
"Ciara loves to play on the iPad during her training sessions and always chooses it as her ‘choice’ activity,” says Amber, an Easterseals Midwest Autism Specialist. “She says, ‘iPad please,’ when I give her two options for her ‘choice’ activity. She would have never done that six months ago when we started working together.”
One thing Lorri and Kurt learned during In-Home Parent Training was to praise Ciara when she did something good. She has even praised herself when she thought no one was paying attention! Kurt realizes that he also learned to play with her instead of figuratively “wrapping her in bubble wrap.”