|Nick getting some practice greeting others|
As there are many different early intervention programmes, we reached out to friends and family who had similar experiences with children on the spectrum.
We were introduced to ANDI Initiative by our friend Asma, and for that we will forever be thankful to Asma and family. We met with Intan and soon got to learn more about ABA and her suggestions of the play-based programme that could assist Nick.
We are not from Malaysia and so this was a big decision for us, but within five minutes of meeting with Intan, we were convinced that this was the right therapy and the right person to help our son overcome his challenges.
We immediately packed our bags and moved to Malaysia!
Nick works with Intan (his programme designer and therapist supervisor) and three AMAZING play-based ABA therapists. Intan works closely with the therapists to develop a programme that incorporates communication and occupational therapy goals, and to build physical strength, knowledge and understanding, all through a series of 'table time' and 'play time'. We started a fairly intensive therapy programme of 18 hours a week, and it has been a joy to listen to Nick's laughter during these sessions.
What an amazing four months it has been for us!
Previously he had little conversational skills, but during this short time, we see a whole new child with improved eye contact while confidently taking command of his language, to be able to answer questions as well as to communicate his wants and needs to a greater extent.
We love how his personality has flourished over the last few months and Intan and the therapists have really helped him share his sense of humour and lively personality with the rest of the world.
In addition to communication, we have seen significant improvement in his gross motor skills as well as building his physical body strength. Previously, Nick had little interest in sports while now with the improving physical strength and skills, he enjoys throwing the basketball with his grand-dad.
Though his sessions are currently one-on-one sessions with the therapists (and this has been crucial to allow Nick to develop his skills), we are excited to start the journey of introducing play dates as well as improving the conversation skills. Nick has really started to come out of his shell and introducing himself to other children.
Whereas previously he would always choose to play on his own, he is now slowly taking notice of other children and trying to engage them in play. Whether it may be playing Hide & Seek or singing nursery rhymes together, it is a joy to see him more confident around other children.
There have been many life-changing moments for Nick over the past four months, and the constant support of Intan and the therapists to both Nick and the rest of us in the family is the reason for Nick's success thus far. For this we thank you from the bottom of our heart.
Intan, Lee Cheng, Izan and Kim - you guys are rock stars!
- Parents from Maldives
(To speak to this family about their experiences, they welcome you to contact them at email@example.com)