The paperwork formally diagnosing Tyler with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) arrived in the Haymans’ mailbox the day before his 9th birthday. Tyler’s parents knew very early on that he was different than the other kids. He has a difficult time talking to and looking at other people. Although he made good grades at school, he had a hard time using a pencil to write. He struggled with daily activities such as dressing and grooming – things that many people take for granted.

Even though Tyler was previously evaluated by several pediatricians and developmental experts, they, unfortunately, missed the subtle signs of his autism. Tyler eventually wound up at a developmental psychologist when he started to fail emotionally and socially at a traditional school.

Upon his PDD-NOS diagnosis, Tyler’s family knew this would be a difficult journey full of doctors’ appointments, equipment, and therapies. Beyond the emotional and physical toll all of this would take, they quickly realized it was going to take a fiscal toll as well.

The Haymans were denied the Katie Beckett Medicaid Program and were at lost for what to do. “As a family, we were very concerned about how to fund his therapies since most of them are very expensive and private insurance does not cover a lot,” said Tyler’s mom, Marcia. After some research, Marcia was soon in touch with Easter Seals North Georgia’s Champions for Children program.

With funds from the program, the Haymans have been able to obtain specialized equipment for his schoolwork, access to camps that have developed his social skills and pay medical co-pays. Tyler attends speech and occupational therapy to help with fine motor skills, effective communications skills, and assistance to perform everyday activities. “He is now thriving since Champions for Children has opened the door for him to attend therapies that our family would otherwise not be able to afford,” said Marcia.

Tyler wants to be a NASA scientist or a marine biologist when he grows up. He wants to show the world how smart he is even though he has a difficult time talking to others. The Haymans believe that Tyler will achieve his goals thanks to the support of Easter Seals North Georgia’s Champions for Children. Marcia said, “You have made the future bright for my Tyler.”

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