Patricia didn’t have a diagnosis for her grandson, she just knew that something was wrong. Family struggles that had taken his mom out of the picture had led to some concerning behaviors. Aidan was very closed, impulsive, easily agitated and sometimes aggressive. He would often throw tantrums and had difficulty transitioning from one activity to another.
When Brad started working with Aidan, he initially focused on simply building a good relationship. Every week he would pick Aidan up and take him to play at the park, go horseback riding or just watch a movie together. Brad’s reliability and compassionate approach allowed some trust to start developing, and provided a much-needed break for Patricia.
Within the year, Aidan was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Patricia was given the news with no further explanation and no referral to helpful services. Aidan’s struggles had already increased tension between her and John, Aidan’s father. Their disagreement on how to respond to the diagnosis worsened an already difficult situation. When she turned to Brad for help, she felt isolated and overwhelmed. Brad walked Patricia and John through their options, and created a space where they could discuss the challenges and come to an agreement on how to meet them. He helped them understand Aidan’s diagnosis, where the behaviors were coming from, and what triggers to look out for. With Brad’s support, they were slowly able to pinpoint Aidan’s triggers, intervene beforehand, and teach him how to express his feelings constructively.
Despite initial misgivings, Patricia trusted Brad enough to enroll Aidan at a specialized behavior modification school, where he would receive the personalized support he needs. Brad conducts regular meetings with Patricia and John that include Aidan’s daycare provider, teacher, and school principal, facilitating a conversation that focuses on how everyone can help Aidan succeed. Four years on, Mike has transitioned into the role of Aidan’s care provider. He has slowly introduced Aidan to an array of activities that help build his self-esteem and social skills. He now attends Jiu jitsu classes with a friend from daycare, plays soccer once a week, and is picking up the guitar. Patricia now has tremendous hopes for her grandson’s future.