Josh knew early on that his son, Alex, was struggling. “Alex was a pretty troubled child,” recalls Josh. “I knew it, but kept making excuses. The turning point for me was one day when he was about four years old. We were in his pediatrician’s office and Alex just slugged him in the face. That was really raw for me – I had to face it that he needed some help.”

Alex was diagnosed with both autism and ADHD. When he arrived for his very first occupational therapy appointment, he refused to remove his shoes to play on the mat and was kicking, throwing, and biting. “It was rough,” says Josh. “But we kept coming back. Things got better, both at home and at school. Last year he was scared to go to school. It was loud, unfriendly, and all the smells were unfamiliar. Socially, all he could do was watch other kids play and do his best to imitate what they were doing. He’d play next to kids, but not with them. Now he’s excited to be with other kids. He’s initiating games and other kids are playing with him. He has changed so much.”

In addition to the speech language therapy he has now, Alex also attends CTC’s social skills groups. “He’s learned how to be calm versus hyper with his friends,” says Josh. “And the group outings the kids take have been amazing in terms of results. They went to Red Robin one day to practice being in a restaurant and that one outing made all the difference. My wife Amanda and I can take him with us out to eat now!”

“Things can just kind of snowball for kids like Alex unless they get some help,” says Josh. “Their communication problems get worse, not better. They need to learn ways to deal with or avoid situations that bother them. Sometimes it’s as simple as learning how to read facial expressions or pick your battles.”

“Amanda and I both know that the more work we put into helping Alex succeed, the better his chances will be. The stress and nervousness we used to deal with has been replaced with relief. We are excited for him and his future!”

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