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A couple find guidance and support to help two newly adopted children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
*Photos reflect the spirit of CFA and are not of any individuals associated with these stories
Along with their three children, Cate and her husband, Zachary, had attended Family Resource Center (FRC) playgroups, the purpose of which is to introduce children to positive, literacy-based activities. They’d done so for many years, and their family was doing well. But their whole world changed in November, 2017, when they decided to assist financially strapped relatives by adopting Zachary’s two nieces, Amira and Diego, 3 and 5, both of whom were struggling with ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The children’s symptoms present at varying levels ranging from being completely non-verbal to having mild difficulty with social interaction.
From experience Cate and Zachary knew the benefits of FRC playgroups, so they brought Amira and Diego. During the Christmas season FRC was able to get the family hats, gloves, diapers, and also toys for Amira and Diego. The children’s development was assessed, and the family received resources for preschool programs. Cate and Zachary were given supportive shoulders to lean on. Cate enrolled in Parents As Teachers (PAT), an FRC program that provides parenting resources to caregivers to help them understand their children’s needs. FRC staff provided one-on-one visits in their home and at community locations.
Cate admitted she’d had no appreciation for just how much physical and emotional work would be required to care for two autistic children who were behind in all areas of development and medically neglected. But since enrolling in the PAT program and attending playgroup regularly, Amira has come a long way and will receive services this coming fall aimed at reaching cognitive goals. Diego has made such great progress that he now tests at grade level.
Child & Family Agency’s three Family Resource Centers offer families numerous services to bridge the gap between the early childhood years and the elementary school years. To see a calendar of free playgroups and to learn more click here.
*At Child and Family Agency we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names, identifying details, and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.