By: Lakshmi Solomons
My name is Lakshmi and I am a SAAAC mom since 2010.
My husband and I have 2 children, Kevin, 24, and Joel, 20. Kevin is our eldest and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. At the time of his diagnosis not many people knew what autism was, including us. We thought it was something like a fever, which would go away. This is when I started to read about autism and learned what this diagnosis meant. As a mother, I didn’t want to accept that my son had autism for a long time, which I am sure many parents have gone through. The more I read about autism, the more I came to realize that my son needed help. Unfortunately, during that time, not many hospitals were equipped to deal with autism and early intervention is key to helping a child with autism. We registered Kevin in all the hospitals for therapy, but there were long wait lists for any kind of help.
Kevin was enrolled in school and was in a special class. It was only by name it was special because even the teachers didn’t know how to handle the children. It was new to them too.
Since then, we have come a long way. Organizations, such as SAAAC, have come up to help and guide parents in the right direction to help their children with therapy and other services.
Kevin is nonverbal, but since he started to come to SAAAC he has gained a lot of understanding and we were able to start speech therapy and ABA. Now Kevin no longer attends school, but we were very fortunate that SAAAC started a day program for adults and Kevin attends this program full time.
SAAAC has become our life line. Kevin seems happy and we have seen tremendous improvement since he has been here. Our hope and prayers are that one day he will be able to live independently.
At SAAAC, my husband and I are also able to talk to other parents in similar situations. The feeling of being accepted is a great relief. It is not easy to be a mother of a child with autism, but with the help of SAAAC, I am able to help my son, as well as other families and parents who share similar journeys.
Help support caregivers like Lakshmi, by supporting caregiver programs provided by the SAAAC Autism Centre. With your help, we can provide care for caregivers: http://bit.ly/2PSw7kV