"Miss Liz" and Ryan (2012)
We were lucky. If we had purchased a house just a few blocks south or a few blocks west our company may not exist today. We simply were lucky. This is our story.
In May 2010 our son Ryan was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We had no idea what that acronym meant let alone what to do next. After several months of Early Intervention we weren’t necessarily surprised by the diagnosis, but we definitely were not prepared.
PDD-NOS or “Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified” is not something you hear about every day or talk about when you’re raising twin 3 year olds. We quickly learned that PDD-NOS was on something called the “autism spectrum”. Autism. Now that was a familiar term. But familiarity wasn’t an answer. Our son was “on the spectrum”. What do we do now?
This where luck enters the picture. When we were looking to purchase our first home and to start a family, school districts never entered the picture. We looked in the city, thought about the suburbs, considered Indiana and wound up in a starter home in Evergreen Park. Two years later our twins were born and two years after that school district programs still were not a concern.
That PDD-NOS acronym changed everything and introduced us to a new acronym “S.L.P.” or a Structured Learning Program. And more importantly introduced us to Liz and Allie. The question of what to do next was answered. Their Structured Learning Program in our school district changed Ryan’s life.
In the classroom, Ryan had one-on-one instruction, benefited from a speech pathologist and leaned on a paraprofessional. Outside the classroom, Liz and Allie created these incredible interactive sessions every 3 months where parents became students. We learned about communication techniques, sensory behaviors, socialization strategies and so much more.
Liz and Allie changed our questions from “What do we do now?” to “how did we get so lucky to have their Structured Learning Program in our district?” to “why aren’t other school districts doing this yet?” After all 1 out of 88 children are on the spectrum. Why aren’t these children with “AUTISM” getting the same “IMPACT” and meaningful “CONNECTIONS” that Ryan is getting from his teachers?
That’s it! Let’s do it ourselves. Let's help schools, teachers, parents and students “Put Autism Connections Together”! That’s our goal! That’s our mission! That’s our company! That’s our name!
Autism + Impact + Putting Autism Connections Together (P.A.C.T.) =