Vitals – Outgrowing autism? Study looks at why some kids ‘bloom’

It turns out the most radical thing a parent can do is have hope–and combine it with the determination to help a child heal. Though one on one parent-child therapy is not enough to help every child overcome a mental health challenge, it is showing promise and thus is cause for all parents of kids with special needs to be inspired…

“Most children need about 30 to 40 hours a week of intervention,” said Apelian, a staff psychologist at the autism evaluation clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles. “What’s tricky is being able to navigate the system to get the therapy, especially with the state budget crisis. The parents who do this seem to have more means and they can hire an advocate or a lawyer.”And that’s where parents’ backgrounds come in to play.After absorbing Danny’s diagnosis at 25 months, Karen asked his doctor about the future. “I said, ‘OK, what can we do about it?’ The doctor said, ‘How much money do you have?’”The Melville’s weren’t independently wealthy. They were comfortably middle class – but that certainly doesn’t pay for therapy that can cost upwards of $70,000 per year. So that meant the Melvilles had to be creative to get Danny what he needed.While Danny waited for his turn to come up on program waiting lists the Melvilles found a student to work with him. In the meantime, Danny’s dad, Michael, went back to school to get certified as a pharmacy tech so he could get a job at a university that came with benefits including a break on Danny’s therapy.The family scraped together money from a variety of sources and finally managed to get Danny into an intensive program that offered one-on-one help. “When I think back, I think about how I sat and watched for hours waiting for him to make that first sound,” Karen said. “I think about how grim things looked. I can’t stress enough that people determine what it is their children need and then get on those waiting lists. Keep digging and fighting to find someone to start with. It doesn’t matter if it’s a student while you’re on the waiting list. It’s just so important to get help early.”

via Vitals – Outgrowing autism? Study looks at why some kids ‘bloom’.

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