My Milestones - The Gedeon Family
Posted on 04/25/17 in Supporting the Mission by Milestones
I want to start out the story by focusing on present day. A flash forward of sorts.
We are the lucky parents of a wonderful 12-year-old girl. She enjoys her adapted dance class, ice skating, playing with her IPad, eating sushi and dressing up. We are in a good place in that we can communicate with each other, express our frustrations verbally and actually play together in ways I did not always think possible.
Knowing these things about my girl Cora is a big deal.
Looking back a few years, when Cora was 2 1/2, my husband and I faced our denial that something was not right. The typical baby and toddler books were not working. Our daughter was not “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and techniques from the Super Nanny reruns were failing miserably.
Eventually we found ourselves at a doctor’s office receiving an autism diagnosis. As freaked out as I was with the diagnosis, at least we now knew and could get a plan together to deal with it. I was eager to hear what the next steps were. I was looking for the doctor to give us a “treatment plan” like I had received from every other doctor visit up to this point. For example, “Take two aspirins and call me in the morning” or “Eat right and exercise.”
Unfortunately, that straightforward medical advice I was looking for did not happen. But we did get a web address to an organization called Milestones Autism Resources.
After coming to terms with the diagnosis and what it meant for us as a family, we found ourselves at the Milestones website. Keep in mind, the World Wide Web has many sites about autism, but for us, milestones.org was a bridge to help get our daughter to where we are today.
For example, we found local resources, references to services and most importantly a notice about a parent training series. This series became the foundation of that plan that we were longing for. It was at that Milestones training where we connected with other parents and realized we were not alone. We were presented with techniques that we could practice and use to reach Cora. We were shown how to motivate her, how to break down play tasks to small steps to build success and eventually implement techniques to help her expand her language and social skills. Most importantly, with Milestones, we were provided a safe place to ask questions and knowledgeable people to help answer them.
Over the next few years, through doctor appointments, therapy social groups, token boards, PEC charts, etc. -- we are where we are today. And through my daughter’s hard work and support from Milestones, we can tell you that although it was not a journey that we asked for, it is a journey we were able to navigate because of the accessible and affordable resources and training from Milestones.
Even now, when I start to stress about what my daughter’s transition to adulthood will look like, I know we will not be on this road on our own. I know I can reach out to the phenomenal team at Milestones and ask them for guidance and support.
[Opening photo: multipleXposure photography]