My story is very similar to a lot of parents with an autistic child. My son was developing normally up until 18 months – 2 years old. He had about a 100 word vocabulary that disappeared. No more talking, no more eye contact. The tantrums were out of control and he had major GI problems. Protocol dictated a series of various testing. At one point, a doctor told me to teach Joseph sign language, he may never talk.
When my son was four years old he was talking with a vocabulary of an 18 month old baby. And today he is eleven talking as a 6½ year old. One day he will be age appropriate with his vocabulary.
My son is going into the sixth grade, mainstreamed, honor roll student in math. Some of his strengths are reading, math, computer whiz, his typing skills are unbelievable not to mention his memory, he’s also an excellent swimmer. I want to contribute his success to ABA therapy (applied behavioral analysis) for three years – ages 2 to 5 – turning our guest bedroom into a classroom and a lot of hard work.
At one point I never thought I’d have a conversation with my son. Today I almost caught myself telling him to be quiet but I never will, his tantrums have ceased and his vocabulary is growing. I’ve raised my son as though he had no special needs. My parenting philosophy is very simple: say what you mean, mean what you say, follow through and be consistent. Reward behavior you want repeated and ignore behavior that is inappropriate. Joseph is a well-mannered young man. I encourage every parent to be persistent and to never give up hope… it all starts at home. – Joe Marciano
Mr. Marciano has graciously offered to share his experiences with parents of children with autism. Should you wish to connect with Mr. Marciano, please contact us for additional information.