It’s been almost 2 decades since my first-born son, Lucas starting showing signs of autism at the age of 21 months and that’s when my husband, Charles (who is a Emergency Medicine physician) first mentioned the possibility of autism.
I was horrified at the thought of an autism diagnosis and in denial about Lucas’ delays telling my husband, I never, never wanted to hear the word autism again.
My husband (who is a physician) and I were not surprised when Lucas got the diagnosis of autism one day before his 3rd birthday in 1999 but what was shocking to both of us was that the doctor diagnosed him as having moderate to severe autism. We both thought that since Lucas had some language, didn’t exhibit any major problem behaviors, and was able to go to regular preschool by himself for a full year, he would have been diagnosed with mild autism.
Did you know that up to half of children diagnosed with autism can recover if they are treated very aggressively with ABA therapy when they are very young? It was first shown that kids with autism could become indistinguishable from their peers in a classic study done by Dr. Ivar Lovaas published in 1986. That was 30 years ago.
So, just to clarify, three decades ago some researchers knew that recovery from autism was possible using behavioral treatment yet, I bet this may be brand new information for you today.
My weekly video blogs are usually for autism professionals and parents, but I have a little secret. All the techniques I talk about work great for any child even a child without disabilities. You see all of the strategies I recommend are based on the proven science of applied behavior analysis. I discuss the technique I’m talking about today in almost every lecture I present. I’ve given this advice lots of times to parents and grandparents of typically developing toddlers as well as parents and professionals in the autism world.
In celebration of Lucas’ 21st birthday this week, in this video blog, I’m going to share 5 lessons I’ve learned that might help you! A lot of these lessons are in Chapter 12 of my best-selling book, The Verbal Behavior Approach which was published a decade ago, sold more than 50,000 copies and is now available in 10 languages.