Is ABA therapy the right choice for your autistic child? Today Rebecca Shellito, mother, wife, nurse, and non-profit organizer, joins me to share her family’s autism journey.
Rebecca’s son Nico received his autism diagnosis shortly before his third birthday and by 4 years old he was in full time ABA therapy. They were incredibly lucky to find a local provider, covered by insurance that they were comfortable with. I know some clients and friends personally that drive to see their preferred provider outside of their local area. Wherever your provider is, comfortability is key. Speak up. Ask questions. Don’t stop until you feel comfortable.
ABA comes with so many logistics and scientific terms. As a parent, it can feel like a foreign language and be both overwhelming and intimidating. Rebecca took my online course, Help Me Find My Voice, early on in Nico’s ABA journey, and she said it changed the game. The course gave her confidence to interact with Nico’s therapists and truly understand everything that was happening. No longer did she feel like a sidebar they had to break things down for but more of an active participant in her son’s therapy team.
Starting full-time ABA at the age of 4, Nico is now 9 and has seen some real progress. Beginning in a developmental preschool and then regular preschool with an ABA aide, he has now fully moved into traditional elementary school. Nico is in 3rd grade and participates in general education for half his day and a more restrictive environment in special ed the other half. Rebecca plans to enroll him in some ABA after school programs and play groups in the future.
No matter how prepared you are, getting the diagnosis of autism for your child can be overwhelming. Rebecca shares some great advice for parents and families just beginning their journey with autism and ABA. You can learn all about the great things she’s doing through her non-profit Uniquely Nico, where she supports parents and autistic children.
Rebecca Shellito has been married to Bob for 15yrs. Together, they have Nico, their 9yr old son. Nico was diagnosed with Autism just after his 3rd birthday. They tackled the diagnosis head on with an abundance of therapies. Rebecca and Bob knew that they would never regret having “too much” therapy. As a registered nurse, Rebecca learned to be an advocate for those who need a strong voice on their side. Now, being an Autism advocate comes easy to her! Through the years, they’ve met wonderful therapists and providers. Rebecca loves sharing these resources with other families. Several years ago, early in the Autism diagnosis, she saw a huge void in the special needs community. She felt no sense of community, leaving her feeling very isolated. Rebecca was saddened by frequently having to leave parties, play dates and parks early due to Nico having meltdowns because of sensory overload. She and her husband co-founded a non-profit, Uniquely Nico. They raise money to host fun, family friendly, non-judgmental, sensory friendly play dates where kids like Nico can play and just be kids and the parents can socialize with other special needs families. Rebecca also loves spending time outside, hiking, gardening, and enjoying nature. She practices a life of gratitude and is thankful for all that God has blessed her with!
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