Living with autism: A mother's story

Metro Detroit mom champions for Applied Behavioral Analysis treatment for autism

Author: Rhonda Walker, Local 4 News Morning Anchor, @RhondaWalker, rhondaw@wdiv.com
Published On: Apr 25 2012 08:05:59 AM EDT
DETROIT -

If you're in a store and you see a kid screaming and yelling – it is  a possibility the child may have autism

The disease remains such a mystery. 1 in 88 kids has autism.

Just this week Governor Rick Snyder's office passed a new law which will require insurance companies to cover costly care for treatment. 

READ: Autism coverage becomes part of Michigan law

It's the moment parents of autistic kids know very well, your normal developing baby suddenly seems to stop developing normally.

Matthew's story

“Mathew never had too many words but he had a few words mom, dad , mama, pappa."

Amy Pollack explains autistic babies like her son Matthew was, can start life just like other kids. “Somewhere along the line they lose what they've gotten - like speech for example.”

Matthew stopped speaking and responding to his name and was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 ½ years old.

"Having an autistic child can be very stressful they can be very loud, laugh when you are crying."

Early intervention and intense therapy has made a remarkable difference in Matthew.

ABA Therapy

6 months ago they began ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy. 

"It has been the most effective therapy and in my opinion every child with autism should have it."

Living With Autism workshop

The Applied Behavioral Analysis is very expensive.  It costs $6,800 a month.  Henry Ford Health System along with Metro Parent is hosting a day long "Living With Autism Workshop" Wednesday April 25th at the Troy Marriott.  It runs from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Everyone touched by autism is invited to attend.  Actress, author and advocate Holly Robinson Peete is the keynote speaker in 2012, sharing her family's powerful story. Peete's 14-year-old son, R.J., has autism. This celeb mom of 21 Jump Street and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper fame is creating hope with the HollyRod Foundation, which she created with her husband, former Detroit Lion Rodney Peete - and with My Brother Charlie, a kids' book she co-wrote with her daughter, Ryan.