Jack developed normally in every way, hitting all of the developmental milestones, even putting words together until he was about 18 months old. But, he gradually stopped talking. By the age of three, Jack had stopped talking altogether, but was very capable of getting his parents to do whatever he wanted by tugging and ushering them to places that held his favorite toys. His parents searched for answers with pediatricians, public school, private speech therapy, and structured play. While each of the approaches had its merits, Jack needed intensive, direct and goal driven approaches to help him progress toward age appropriate milestones. Jack was accepted by the Child Study Center Autism Services’ program in 2011. While milestones for most children are viewed as normal developmental stages, Jack has to learn through repetition, reinforcement and reward. He has learned to accomplish tasks such as imitation, matching, communication and using appropriate play activities with his brothers. Jack has started his path to gaining developmental stages. He is beginning to talk and knows when he has successfully used his skills; his exuberance is contagious!
Craig and Mandy Barngrover were desperate. Their autistic son, Caleb, would only eat uncooked spaghetti and an occasional sip of Dr. Pepper. He would only wear one outfit: a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. If the Barngrovers tried to discipline Caleb, they were met with severe tantrums, verbal threats, property destruction and aggression. This severe disruption to normal family life led Craig and Mandy to seek help through Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and the Tarrant County public school system. After a rough stint in pre-kindergarten, they were referred to the Child Study Center's Developmental Pediatrics Department and Caleb was accepted into the Center's Autism Services program. Within two weeks of intense one-on-one therapy in Autism Services, "they had him dressed in button-down shirts, pants, and shoes," Mandy says. "He put on 20 pounds in two months because he was finally eating again." A few months later, a slot opened in the Jane Justin School at the Child Study Center, and Caleb was ready for the classroom. He continued to grow and excel reaching graduation from Jane Justin School at age 12 and continues his education at the Hill School with talk of college after high school – a feat the Barngrovers never thought possible.
After adopting three young children into their forever home, Elizabeth and Mike Gwilliam quickly learned of the devastating effects the drugs and alcohol abused by their birth mother had on the development of Jessica, Tate, and Sierra. From their outward appearance, there were no traces of the physiological and developmental delays they struggled with daily. Sierra, the youngest, was also born with a chromosome deficiency, a condition which manifested into difficulty in her hearing, speech, and vision. After tirelessly seeking help, they were led to the Child Study Center.
At age 2, William only used five words consistently which would lead to fits of anger and screaming tantrums. By age 3, he began sleeping only a few hours every night and his tantrums only increased. His self-help skills were lacking, as he would frequently go potty in unacceptable places. Socially, William rarely engaged with others and preferred to sit alone and spin the wheels of his toy car. After entering the Autism Services Program at the Child Study Center, and continuing into the Jane Justin School, William has dramatically increased his expressive vocabulary and rarely has tantrums. He loves to give hugs to others and enjoys interacting with his friends. William is now fully potty trained and is sleeping through night.
Twin boys, Ryan and Dylan, did not know how to play with simple toys at the age of two. They were obsessed with ceiling fans and flipping light switches, rather than the more typical interests of children their age. The boys wanted to be alone instead of playing with other children, and their communication skills were extremely minimal. Between the ages of three and five, Ryan and Dylan only used 10 words and had issues with eating, textures, smells and tastes. After diagnosis in Developmental Pediatrics with the recommendation to enter the Autism Services Program at the Child Study Center, they continued to progress into the Jane Justin School. Now the twins no longer obsess over ceiling fans, and they enjoy playing with age-appropriate toys and engaging with friends. Ryan and Dylan's vocabulary has grown into sentences, and they both eat a variety of foods, and are even willing to try new tastes, textures and smells.