A World of Possibilities

Roman and his family learn together

Five year old Roman is a very active boy with a big family: Mom, Dad, three sisters, and a dog named Manny. There is always a lot of activity and plenty to do at their house. But when Roman first entered the Easter Seals Autism Services Program, he preferred to spend most of his time alone. Roman lives with Autism.

“When Roman started his therapy, he was a loner. He didn’t play with his sisters. He had difficulty communicating and had a high level of frustration,” said Roman’s dad, Mark.

He was paired with Senior Interventionist, Shannon, and began intense Applied Behavioral Therapy (ABA) therapy in his home five days a week. “This has been a big learning experience,” Mark explained. “Starting out, I had difficulty knowing my role in the process. How do I behave? If Shannon is in our home, am I supposed to step in if Roman is crying? Do I need to be in the same room with them while he’s receiving therapy? Shannon always explains things in layman’s terms so we can understand it. She has the respect of the house. You can tell she loves what she does and Roman is very drawn to her.”

Roman’s mom, Stacey, agrees. “We love Shannon. We feel so fortunate that we’ve had her as Roman’s therapist over the past year and a half. We’ve learned so much during this process. We’ve learned how to fulfill his needs.”

“Roman used to have no interaction with his two older sisters. He just did his own thing. Through therapy which modeled interactive play, he now plays with his sisters all the time. He even calls to them to join in during therapy. The girls are amazing. They engage him in his type of physical play, which is so fun to see. They don’t treat him any differently than any other child but they are still protective of him.”

Mark especially appreciates that he receives updates from Shannon via email, so while he’s at work he can stay-up-to-date on Roman’s therapy and progress. “Shannon worked with us to find out what we needed in terms of reporting, and this way was best for us.”

Roman’s therapy also includes time with his five month old sister, Lucy. “He’s not particularly interested in her right now. She’s not active enough for him.” Brief amounts of time are scheduled for him to sit near her and engage with her, so they can form a bond.

This fall, Roman started attending school three days a week for half days and is continuing therapy twice a week with Easter Seals. “Through therapy, Roman has grown 100%. There were changes right away in his behavior. His frustration level went way down. We’ve discovered this sweet, funny, energetic boy. And he is so smart! His future is full of possibilities.”

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