It was early in our sons Joseph’s life when we began to notice that there was something not quite right about the way our little boy was developing. It was difficult to put a finger on it but we knew that there was something wrong.
Numerous trips to our pediatrician and to specialists confirmed out worst fear…Our little twenty-two month boy was diagnosed with autism.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that has no known cause or cure. After dealing with the initial shock of the diagnosis and the hard fact that our son had a disorder that would most likely last his lifetime we began to take the necessary steps to help him.
We learned that various types and levels of treatment varied as greatly as the symptoms.
When Joseph was three he entered the Lawrence Public School system to receive services.
They could not offer what we felt was adequate care and we requested additional care to be provided. This was additionally denied to us. A long and public fight with the School Department began. It ended with a page one story in our local paper and with a victory for our son.
It was around this time that we learned about Melmark New England, an organization located in nearby Andover, MA.
After our initial visit Melmark became our first and last choice for treatment for our son. The results have been outstanding. We are extremely fortunate that Joseph goes to such a wonderful school. Joseph wouldn’t be were he is today if it wasn’t for his teachers, staff & administrators at Melmark New England. They have made such an impact in our entire families lives.
Joseph has a long road ahead of him.
Without a cure this disorder is going to potentially remain with him his entire life. But even with the obstacles he has had to hurdle he is a happy little boy. He can often be found playing basketball and hockey with his big brother in his driveway or in the basement playing video games against us…and winning.
Autism is not beating our little boy. But Joseph cannot win this battle alone. He needs all of you. Joseph and everyone else with the disorder are counting on you to help them win this fight…and to find a cure.