Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Paul’s Story
by RES | Mar 22, 2022 | Reading time: 2 min
Leonard shares his experience with his son, Paul, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2018 at the age of 2.5 years-old.
RES’ Microsoft 365 Expert, Leonard Hrihoreanu shares his experience with his son, Paul, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2018 at the age of 2.5 years-old.
Asperger’s Syndrome, or Asperger’s, is a previously used diagnosis on the autism spectrum. In 2013, it became part of one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The World Health Organization estimates that about one in 160 children have an ASD.
About Leonard’s son, Paul:
Paul is 5 years old now and is a very happy kid. He is the person that can make anyone’s day simply by giving a big hug. He used to not look into your eyes but with therapy, that has changed. He is the best kid ever.
The challenges Leonard and his family faced:
My wife, Mary, was most impacted by Paul’s diagnosis. She was 40 years old when Paul was born prematurely. We understood there were risks associated with having a child after 35 years of age and took every precaution to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
All my children have all rallied in support of Paul and collectively we treat Paul the same way we do everyone else in the family. It is important to us to not treat him like he has a disease and support him as a normal child.
The actions Leonard has taken to help his son:
After receiving Paul’s diagnosis, we consulted with several specialists and started Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy right away. ABA is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. Everyone has participated in therapy, either by themselves, with Paul, or with the entire family.
There are things we do to make our home environment as safe as possible. These include removing locks from all the doors inside the house as Paul does not know how to unlock these. Windows, however, are kept locked as they can be a danger.
Leonard’s advice for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:
First, do not be alarmed or afraid. The autism spectrum is very wide and affects boys more. My advice to other parents is don’t give up and be optimistic. There are solutions to turn this anomaly into an advantage. Offer unconditional love as children with an ASD need more than you realize but it’s also important to behave as naturally as possible.
Additional thoughts from Leonard:
I too have autism but I wasn’t diagnosed when I was young. I found out only after reading about ASDs which made me realize why I did everything differently when I was a child. This realization has me helped immensely with Paul.
Leonard Hrihoreanu is an active member of the Disability Affinity Network. The Disability Affinity Network at RES was established to create an inclusive, safe, accessible environment for people with disabilities. Network members work to raise awareness of the complexities and challenges that having a disability brings and provide support for people with disabilities so that they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.