In 2017 our son Hunter was diagnosed with level 3 autism spectrum disorder, the most severe form. We received his diagnosis through one of the top universities in the country thinking they would provide us with the best information possible. Prior to going into the evaluation we had done quite a bit of research and had a feeling that autism was going to be the outcome of his evaluation. So, when his diagnosis was delivered we were not in total shock.
What did shock us was the guidance, or lack thereof, that we received to help us understand how to best support our son. We were simply told to prepare for his future by saving for a group home that he would need to reside in once we were no longer able to care for him and given a 100 page pamphlet on early intervention therapies which we now know to be a standard boilerplate response to an autism diagnosis.
This feedback provided nothing in the way of a personalized approach for care and ultimately created more questions than answers. This was unacceptable to us and so our journey for answers began.
As recommended, we set up an early intervention evaluation but knew we needed to do more. My wife Cheryl immediately went to work searching the internet for guidance on what our next steps should be. She then spent thousands of hours over the next few years researching, taking classes and working with numerous doctors, therapists, behavioral specialists, nutritionists and experienced parents to help us connect the dots between our son’s behaviors and symptoms to his underlying medical conditions. Understanding these connections have been invaluable as they have provided critical guidance in determining which interventions would help our son achieve goals faster than many thought would be possible. To put this into perspective, Hunter’s Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist score was 111 out of 179 when he was diagnosed and today it is down to 32 (the higher the score equates to a higher severity of ASD). This is an incredible achievement that many told us would be difficult, if not impossible to obtain.
Now, we have made it our life’s mission to empower parents and care teams with advanced technology that provides actionable insights to make informed decisions. We know first hand that getting the right information, to the right person, at the right time is critical to helping guide care and achieving goals faster.
Co-Founder @ Autism Technologies, Inc.