Marilyn is 12 years old. She is responsive to her mom's instructions and expectations for her behavior, something that her mom never thought would be possible before coming to RAE for services. At age 3, Marilyn was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the Regional Center. She could not speak. She screamed, dropped to the floor and flapped her hands throughout each and every day. She also bit and pinched herself. At times, she would attempt to take off her clothes in public. Marilyn was so active and her behavior so uncontrollable that her mom could not take her out to visit family and friends.
Unable to cope with Marilyn's behavior, her mom turned to an ABA provider for help when Marilyn was 8 years old. Instructors were in place very briefly until they were replaced by other instructors. Staff turn-over was almost constant. Marilyn's challenging behaviors continued to interfere with all aspects of life for the next two years. Since English was not their family's first language, her mom was unable to communicate effectively with the agency regarding her daughter's needs. When Marilyn's mom felt as though her daughter would not improve, a family friend referred her to RAE.
Marilyn entered RAE's intervention program at the age of 10. Services were only provided in the home setting as her school district would not authorize outside ABA services in the school setting. Within two months, her teachers began to comment on her improved behavior at school. Within the first 6 months, she stopped hurting herself and running away from people. Instead of screaming, she learned to verbalize when she didn't want or like something.
Now, Marilyn brushes her teeth, bathes, showers, and combs her hair independently. Not only can Marilyn's mom take her to visit their family friends, but they can also eat at restaurants and shop at stores together.
Fun facts about Marilyn:
Hobbies: She loves all kinds of music and playing on the computer.
Recent achievements: She is learning to make purchases at stores and to greet others with a big smile on her face.