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An Autism Success Story - SUCCESSful Nathan


Season 2, Podcast Episode 205

This blog post is based on podcast episode titled "Successful Nathan" which can be found on Spotify, Apple and other podcast platforms, or here:

Welcome to Connect with Success with Dr. Lynette Scotese-Wojtila, where we help connect you with knowledge. Our mission is to lead you to a new and exciting way of understanding, responding to, and helping all those with autism. We hope to expand your thinking about how to best serve these amazing people and to support you in your daily struggles and celebrations.

RICH: Welcome to the next episode of Connect with Success, a podcast built around The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm). And the person who coined it, Dr. Lynette Scotese-Wojtila. We have a special guest with us today who's going to give another witness on how The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) has impacted their life with their son. And we're looking forward to taking that journey with you. So of course we have Dr. Lynette is here with us today. She's going to be helping us digest The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) in any given situation. Dr. Lynette, what concept will you be focusing on for this episode?

LYNETTE: Today's concept is hope. RICH: Tell us a little bit about what it means to you. LYNETTE: Well, hope is a tainted perception of mine because I've been in the luxury position of 30 years to witness it. And those 30 years has been as have been as an occupational therapist. And the vast majority of those 30 years I've had the luxury of working with families here at ITC, most of whom have children with special needs sensory issues, autism, other delays. And I can't help but perceive hope in a way that the families manifest it as I watch. So it's my hope of course my whole field is hopeful for kids and adults that have special needs or other issues. But it's not a personal hope for me until I meet a family, and then I sort of am part of that. So I've been thinking just for a moment about it. And to me hope is the joyfulness I experience and see in others experiencing as we together first identify and then actualize a child's potential. RICH: Yeah, and that hope unlock so much for the families that you serve to and I think it's going to be interesting to see the perspective we have today with our guests and how hope has manifested as a result of The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm). So let's get into that now. Okay, everybody we have with us today is Darla, and she is Mom of Nathan, but has many other hats that she wears or has worn her entire life. So welcome to the show Darla. Thank you so tell us a little bit about yourself. DARLA: Well, again, my name is Darla and I am a mom of a nearly 23 year old and Nathan who is 13 RICH: Thanks, and so Nathan is who attends here at Integrations Treatment Center. Okay. And so what other hats have you worn in your life? DARLA: Well, I'm a formerly practicing social worker. I was school based. And I spent about 15 years in our local schools’ middle school, back then they called it junior high, and in high school as well. RICH: Okay. And what do you guys like to do for fun as a family? DARLA: We are homebodies, so we like kind of hanging around the house. Nathan has his games that he likes to play. And in the spring and summer we also have a pool, so we try to get outside in the yard as much as possible. We also have a pond. Our neighbors have ducks. And so they come over and visit every time they see us out there… squawking. Nathan has a lot of fun with those and to the point we're actually considering getting some ducks of our own. RICH: Neighbor ducks and neighbors. Yeah. That's great. So tell us a little bit about Nathan. DARLA: Nathan is a seventh grader. He is funny. He's smart, witty, and he's a deep thinker. I've always called him an old soul. He has he thinks even though you don't think that he is, he's thinking about everything and how it relates to him, or you know, what's going on; and he's fun loving. He's an animal lover. We have a pug. She's his best friend. And she really helps him start his day and kind of helps me to get him out the door, and she's just a love. So he's definitely an animal lover. RICH: “Animals” is definitely a theme. I know we recently got a dog over the pandemic as well. And it took a little while for Finn to warm up to the idea of having Rosie in the house, but now he's the man who gets up in the morning because he's the first one up on the weekends. I don't try and get up early if I can help it. But he'll let her out, decides he wants to feed her and then she wants to hang out with him on the couch. So I think he's realized that he helps take care of her, then you know he'll hang out or something a little more with him. Great, really great assistance in the world. And let us know when things are out of sorts. LYNETTE: Yeah, they do… and they don't lie. RICH: So I know that Nathan is a big video game connoisseur. And I know this because our sons actually work together on these games, right? Yes, yes. Yes, I love that! DARLA: Matter of fact they are probably communicating right now. RICH: I purposely didn't tell Finn that we were interviewing you today because he would have said, “I don't want to do swim lessons. I want to go and play with Nathan because I know his mom’s not home.” And you know, funny. All right, well let's get into the message for this episode. LYNETTE: So Darla, what did you first detect an ITC that made you realize it was different from other agencies available to you. DARLA: Communication. When I first called to speak with Lynette, we talked for two hours and she was asking me lots of questions, you know about Nathan and who he was and, and just really, I didn't feel rushed or hurried. You know, even if we talked about one question for 15 minutes, she was asking me more questions. And so that that was huge for me, because I felt for the first time in a long time, I felt listened to. And the other thing is really feeling like I'm a part of the team. I'm not just Nathan's mom. But I'm a part of this team and my input matters. And my life with Nathan and our journey to get this to this point matters. And the other thing is, just kind of, in thinking, it's the recognition of the positives -- and not so much of a focus on the negative, of what he's not doing, or what he did wrong, or you know, what he needs to do. It's, it's all positive when I when I come and pick him up, you know, it's all, “He did so great today!” And you know, even though, you know, maybe he had these, you know, struggles throughout the day, he still did great. And so that… that has made a huge difference for me. RICH: I would agree you know, anything that you've dealt with in services, with Integrations Treatment Center, it really helps to essentially bring you in as part of that. Usually as a parent, when you're sitting in, and anywhere else, it's okay, well, we're gonna fill you in on what we're trying to do and it's not necessarily bringing you in along the way. No, it's not that partnership that you get. DARLA: Yes, it's, it's actually being a part of a team versus just saying you're a part of the team. LYNETTE: I want to add to that for some of the professionals out there listening to this because, you know, there's a name for that. It's called a transdisciplinary team. And we think about that in a professional realm of the different disciplines, the OT, the special ed, the psychology, the behavioral optometrist, the dietician, whatever it might be; but smack dab in the middle of that team, that wealth of support is a child, and there's no child without a parent. And so the parent is equal partners to us. They're equal partners in the process, and they actually hold that web of support the strongest because that had the duration that had the history in the longevity. And they have, and they only they can have, the vision for where they want the child to land. And as a child grows, and they can contribute to their own interpretation of where they want to land, if they're able, and interested in doing that. But we partner with families so we can land where it's appropriate, and that is largely defined by the family with our expertise and guidance, helping the child to land where we believe they can -- that hope that identifying the potential and then actualizing it. DARLA: Also, one thing that that struck me was the holistic approach, looking at him as a person, not just his autism, or anything else that's going on with him. And also something that struck me was the focus on his eating and how it's… Nathan struggles with having a selective diet and that focus, and recognizing that how much his nutrition affects his daily life and his ability to focus and, you know, in class and his ability to just manage his every day. That was huge for me, because that's never been anything you know, aside from going to a nutritionist or dietitian, it's never been something that has been focused on. RICH: And I liken The SUCCESS Approach to GPS. If you think about it, because I don't know about you with roadmaps, but I was horrible with roadmaps. Even when they tried highlighting it on the Tripticks for AAA, I still wound up somewhere…lost. So, but they offer you this GPS because you start to recognize signals of oh, wait, there's a turn ahead. You know, they're going to turn this corner and we were able to see that and maybe it was hard for us to see that at first, but it gave us the tools be able to see oh wait, they can turn this corner here, and that's going to be coming up here because we can recognize what was happening and the change within them. And then that's where I think that hope comes into play is that we're like, oh, wow, we can see this change if we're careful for if we're communicating with our team. And we're following the protocols for The SUCCESS Approach and making sure that, that all the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted. LYNETTE: Absolutely. And I think and Darla is analogy that just came to me of, or the idea of, the feeding and your analogy, actually Rich of the car, is you know, what I think we bring to the table is knowing what's in the tank as the car is driving. And that's very literally the expertise of the Rehab Services mindset. We are a day treatment center that functions like a school because we have a Special Ed in general and of course, like any other school would, but we specialize in the treatment and management of the child's disability and part of that is eating problems. So it's great that we're getting someplace with this wonderful GPS, but if the body isn't fueled properly, that destination is going to take a lot longer to get to. RICH: So can you speak to how the team collaboration has been a part of your experience or how you know it over the course of your child's educational career? DARLA: Something that strikes me about ITC is that everyone is on the same page. It's never been you know, I have always felt throughout Nathan's schooling it was kind of hodgepodge. You know, this person needed to talk to this person first before they could talk to this person and, you know, and, and you're getting snippets of, of his day or his needs or you know, their perspectives and, and so here, everybody is on, you know, kind of reading in the same book on the same page and they all speak to you the same way. You know, they're always very positive and welcoming and, I feel like kind of going back to that team approach. I feel like I'm a part of that process, like, authentically, and with the emails and text messages and the updates and you know, I don't know how she does it. LYNETTE: First of all, it's not just “she” you know. DARLA: I just I feel involved for the first time in a process. And you know, I said typically, it's me kind of going to these meetings and finding out, and now I don't feel that way. I feel like I'm involved in making decisions and helping him in this journey. RICH: And even so much to say is the lead. Like because that's the one thing as a parent, we're not often made to feel like that we're the lead for our own child, but that the fact that at ITC and Integrations Treatment Center method in The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) is -- we are the lead. And they you know, because many conversations we've had, it's like, well, what would you say would be something we need to immediately address with, with your son, you know, or what do you feel would best serve to help them feel successful early, so that he can get into this program? And it's not so much a catch-all trick is just focusing on essentially in the positives, so that you can have this checklist of things that you want to accomplish. LYNETTE: In addition to sort of the goal setting that comes from that, like, what's the target. There's the day-to-day updates, like Darla is really good at that… sending us an email or going on Google chatter online or even text messages to say, “You know what, we had kind of a rough night” (this might be Sunday) “kind of a rough weekend, you know, we're coming off of a blah, blah, blah experience. So just wanted to give you the heads up…” and boy does that help us prepare for Monday. So we then if Michelle, our education coordinator is on the receiving end of that text, she'll put out an early morning chat to the team, so that we know “Hey, heads up might be a little raw on the edges today, let's do a little low demand.” Before the child's even here or they're driving here, you know, and, and to that end, let me just say you drive a real far away, mom. So talk about a team effort. You are really putting your effort into your kid when you every day drive as far as you do to come here and that's it's a luxury for those people who live closer, and it's a luxury for anybody who lives in the state of Ohio frankly, but those of you who make long distances and exceptional sacrifice and commitment, and we appreciate that because we want your kid to thrive just as much as you do. So it's nice to have that access. RICH: It's a testimony to the center [ITC]. Just the fact that you're willing to go above and beyond to do that for Nathan, you know, it really is to what The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) lends itself. LYNETTE: So Darla, this is one of my favorite questions by the way to ask families because I'm always surprised myself, but what about your experience at ITC was most surprising to you? DARLA: The most surprising thing for me, just in judging from my past experiences was ITC’s ability, and the team's ability, to stop and try something new or to go in a different direction. Versus this isn't working. So, you know, we're, we're kind of done so or we're just going to kind of keep doing the same thing. Just to get him through. And that that's always been my past experiences is just to get him through. We're going to you know, he got through, you know, this grade so he can get through the next grade; but all that time he was he was struggling and, and then as he's gotten older, it's become even more of a struggle because then you combine you know, the hormones and his you know, the changes that he's going through personally, and all of that is just kind of a snowball. And it became much harder as he got older to just get through. And I felt like that was going to do him an injustice for his future, but I guess I always wanted, you know, the team, I guess, at the public schools to be able to think outside of the box. But I don't feel that that environment really allows them to do that so much. And here, you know, you can do that. You can look at these kids, as individuals, and you know what works for them may not work for the next student. And what worked for the previous student may not work for my child. And so that to me, has been probably the most surprising. Is that, wow, outside-of-the-box thinkers. Kind of never, never giving up on him too. Or focusing, I think I've mentioned it before, focusing on what he isn't doing and not focusing on what he isn't showing, but focusing on, you know, what do we need to do today? So that he can get there, you know, because he is able to get there. But what do we need to do today to enable him to be successful. LYNETTE: And one more layer to that Darla, you know, because you're deeply involved in many decisions and almost minute-to-minute care, but it's not even what we do today, it's what are we going to do this hour? What are we going to do this minute to move him from the foyer to his homeroom up in room 203? And so I want to speak to something you beautifully prefaced and that is that we… you called it “think out of the box.” And it is, it is out-of-the-box thinking, but it's also a mindset and remember, we're a day treatment center, and we're grounded in the neuroscience of Occupational Therapy. Because as the founder, that's my background. And so that means I'm a therapist that understands the brain-body relationship, right? That's neuroscience. And so as we look at a child through the eyes of The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm), because we're grounded in treatment, we expect them to be fluctuating individuals who don't come to school or program at 8am and look and feel the same way at 8:05 or 8:30 or nine o'clock. So we anticipate, we know, we honor, we actually enjoy that fluctuation of the human condition, and we're skilled to meet it where it's at so to speak, and get the child to the next level of function. That's, I think, a good way of understanding the difference between a treatment model and a traditional education setting where, you know, their goal is to introduce lesson plans and curriculum content; and make no mistake about it, at ITC we are absolutely grounded in the content standards and core curriculum and other things that we have to be to acknowledge and abide by what the state expects us to do with our kids. But it is so much more than that. And the “other” -- that comes first, the human being, the readiness of the human being -- it ties back to one of our initial podcasts, Dr. Smith, where we have a lot of insight about readiness and what feels right. If you don't address and treat that readiness and honor it. No matter what you're throwing with ABCs and 123’s. It's not going to stick. RICH: And I was going to reference another episode on behavior and observing readiness as a first step in understanding the behavior of your child. And I think that that's what separates ITC and The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) from other educational venues is the fact that you're looking for that particular individual's readiness and understanding that behavior isn't necessarily a negative thing. It's just how they're feeling in the moment and then how do we get them past that? So that they can be successful? And that's something that many of the educational venues don't take the time out [to do]. You know, I don't know about you, but when, when we were in the school system, and we heard a lot of, you know, “He's just being a problem today,” or “He's just not he's not able to function with the other kids today.” And it's like that stabs your heart. You know, and when you're when you're thinking about your child, and you know, that there's that, that obstacle that they have, they can overcome. And then at the same token, knowing that they can, it's just a matter of can they unlock the formula to do that? And so when we came, that's where that hope came in for us. We came into Integrations Treatment Center, to your point, Lynette and being able to say, hey, we're able to work these strategies into the learning, right, so they can unlock their potential for behavior and learn something along the way. LYNETTE: That's right. And I want to speak to all of our counterparts too in Public Ed, you know, I think some of the way that our kids get referred to it's all they know, it's all their language, it's all their repertoire, “problem child” or “distracting” or “class clown” and that isn't everywhere, but some people who still have those sorts of references, they love the ,child and they hope that he will improve too; but they don't have the professional constitution or the experience or background to know what to do about that they want to. Which is why we have our class for professionals as well, so that those folks can learn the insights about the human condition. I always say in our particular country, we try to put services in place for kids in this case, that will educate them, or make them healthy, or produce some skill in them, without really understanding the neurology of human development. And it's nobody's fault, but it's the case. And so we come in as therapists that are specialists in that, and the neuroscience and brain development behind that, and we can kind of cut to the chase and do it better and actually best, my opinion, because we're cutting through all of the wonderment. We don't have to wonder why isn't he opening his Chromebook and doing his math? We know he's systemically unfed with the right kind of nutrition because of his food. And so we nail it right outside looking at everyone thinks he's “lazy” if you choose to use a child, an adjective to describe a child that way. We don't tend to have those adjectives because that's not how we see them here. RICH: And being you know, paid to go back to look at both episodes. So my other podcast is Tech Study Hall, and Lynette and I did a crossover episode about observing writing a specific to teachers. So if you're a teacher listening to this podcast, look up Tech Study Hall. I think it's the last episode of the first season. We talked about Observing Readiness and we're almost ready, I think, to do a crossover episode on just Behavior in the Classroom, and how teachers can begin to rethink that process of not necessarily deeming the problem child but, you know, necessarily, let's get to the cause of why and I think we talked about that quite a bit a bit in the behavior podcast… is looking at the why something is being triggered for that child. LYNETTE: Yep, that's true. RICH: So what factors should a family keep in mind, in your purview, Darla, when trying to assess the true value of a private program for treating? DARLA: For me and looking back on Nathan's journey, I wish I would have started younger. I wish when he was three and four that we could have found ITC and Lynette and gotten him the skills that he needs and laid that groundwork for him, so that when he was 13 he didn't have to be uprooted out of his school and away from his friends and the routine and the lifestyle that he was familiar with. For me, start thinking when they're younger. Thinking about their future and where you want them to be. Nathan has always expressed an interest in, he wants to graduate high school. He wants to go to college. You know he wants to eventually get married, and have a family, and have a house; and he would always say to me that how am I going to be able to do all of those things mom, if I can't even get through seventh grade. And, and so that really touched my heart and told me that it was time for something new. It was time for us to kind of change directions and it wasn't okay anymore to just get through the school year that we needed something more. That's what we have found here at ITC. RICH: At what age did you find the diagnosis for Nathan? DARLA: He was diagnosed at 21 months. LYNETTE: And what was his diagnosis then, do you remember how they referenced it? DARLA: It was PDD / NOS, which today I know they just diagnose with ASD kind of across the board. And so it kind of started right then. He went from eating and being a typical toddler to just… something just shut off. And he was all of a sudden, he had gotten ear tubes placed, and after that, then we got a referral for Help Me Grow, because he wasn't… he stopped talking. And so then it just kind of rolled from there. And it was literally like a switch was flipped and he went to being kind of in his own world, and he would play with those, remember those old peg puzzles. He would play with those, and just stare at them, over and over, just repetitive; and in his own world. And then it just kind of rolled from there. He stopped eating. That was the major thing for me. He went from eating typically to just wanting bland crunchy, Cheezeits and Goldfish crackers, and so that became our focus because obviously, a child needs to eat. And so through the years, that has always been our focus. And then school starts okay, we'll get through; but we're still going to have to focus on the eating, which they can't focus on in the public schools. And as he's gotten older you know, it's become more apparent as to just how much the nutrition is affecting his growth. RICH: Yeah, I think from and the reason why I asked because I think it was really amazing that Nathan was able to, to say to you and to be able to voice to you: I know I need more than this. I thought that was very powerful in the fact that he was able to say “I need some help” with not just getting get through. Right. To be successful in these goals. I think that's amazing. LYNETTE: Yeah, I think that statement is so important and if it's okay, I'm going to share something that we I think will be proud of in a sense, when we think about Nathan and his accomplishments. He was able to articulate in a session about two weeks ago, where he was struggling to come in and he did finally come in, meaning into the building. And at some point he laid down on the mat in the OT room and rested for a bit while we were in an adjacent room, but with eyes on to support and supervise, of course, and at the end of the day everyone went home and he was still with me. We're waiting for late pickup that day, that was on purpose. We needed more time with him. So we took it. And I said to at one point, you know, it was he said it was a rough day, a very, very rough day and he said I didn't even go upstairs and I said, Well, you couldn't go upstairs. You needed to be on that mat. And he said, Thank you! Instead of someone saying that, “It was my choice”. “Thank you!” Yeah, and he literally threw his hands up. He said that is so much better to hear than “it's your choice” when you decided “your choice.” And he's sort of like mimicking or imitating people he's heard say that. I thought this is a big part of a seventh graders experiences. They've almost shaped to hear these things because, again, loving, very skilled teachers and other professionals and districts, or even family, adult family members, don't know what else to do or say or call it and so they accidentally call it something like a “choice” when it's a physiological struggle or physiological root.

RICH: A barrier. LYNETTE: So he was able to articulate that. I just think we need to be proud of him. Seeing the difference, recognize the difference and calling it out, and bringing it to a place of gratitude. Where he felt like this is good that I heard it's a need because, guess what it is? These kids do not wake up at 630 or 7am and say, “I'm going to really make Dr. Lynette mad at two o'clock this afternoon and lay down on the mat.” If they were that deliberate, they wouldn't have autism. Right? And the other thing I want to point out that I'm very proud of, and this is something else that we might want to share with the audience is, he just recently set his own goals. And this has been a problem for quite a while but he needed time to kind of see what we were and what we weren't. and have people's opinion within his family about what we were and what we weren't; what we could do for him to come to see kind of, maybe start to see that he could make it here. And so just recently, and it took about two months or so maybe three. He finally said these goals quote unquote. “I want to be able to be motivated again like I used to be and I want to be able to feel happy again.” And what a statement. What two statements that is, that he is missing the old version of him and I see as a clinician as an OT in particular, what some of those blockades. We've talked about the nutrition is a little bit of hormonal and the habit, Hello! Habits are very important part of our routine and our ability to function as we learned about the model of human occupation, absolutely. And so he's habitually forming thoughts about himself. He's essentially forming ways of thinking and schemas, as we know from information processing theory that we've discussed in the past, and he's kind of stuck in this interpretation of who he is. And there are times I'm saying, “You know what, I think that's the autism talking. I'm not going to listen to that right now. I'm going to wait for Nathan to talk.” And just to let him know that okay, I'm clearly distinguishing the difference. And so he probably should do. That's the message in that and it's not and that nasty about it. I'm very supportive. I just kind of let that statement go because I don't think it's coming from a place of where you can get it to where you can be, and it's kind of our healing process or progress process. So we're gonna let that be and we're gonna move on to things are going to promote progress. And we do and we have and we've done quite a bit of progress emotionally, socially, and self-regulation wise as well.

DARLA: And to tag on to that, I don't… Nathan's not used to that. Nathan's not used to making progress. He's used to going to these….programs, or talking to nutritionists or dietitians or going to feeding clinics and not making progress. So that was that was huge for him. That was kind of a turning point for him. Because prior to that, it was “How are they going to be any different, Mom?” What are they going to do that's any different than, you know, where I've been before? I am truly in thinking about that that moment, feel that that was a turning point for him to realize that not only is he heard, that he is acknowledged; that it's not his choice. And he has said that. He would get really frustrated when professionals would tell him “You're choosing this.” No, I wouldn't choose this. You know, I wish I was just like my friends, right? I wish, you know, would never choose this. LYNETTE: Which child would? Right? DARLA: Right, right. What human would? So I really think that's a huge thing for him. It's, it's being heard. RICH: I appreciate too, the level of relationship that he’s been able to help build. Especially because he and Finn talk quite a bit. And it's kind of cool to listen to when they are ending their conversations, because they would both play games forever if we let them right? But it's kind of funny because now they've actually gotten to where if we call Finn for dinner, and this would never happen before, he would say “my parents would prefer if I came to eat with them today.” And you know, and that would never happen before. So they he's getting those social cues because of those interactions with them. And I think that's the other beautiful part of the treatment center is that they can see their individual success based on the program here, but then what a community they built together to help, you know. And I know there are days we've been struggling to get out of bed to get to school, but he's like, “You know what I'm going to go see Nathan, or Jason.” So, you know, and then that pulls him out of bed. So thank you for that. So what was missing from your life before your child was accepted into Integrations Treatment Center? DARLA: Hope for his future, for his ability to get through the next six years of school? Without ITC, I don't… I don't know where we would be right now. If he were still going you know, kind of through the motions. It's been a challenging journey so far. Life happens sometimes. But I feel like you know, again, talking about not just stopping and we're giving up and ITC’s ability to keep moving forward. You know, even if that means taking a step back and taking those baby steps again, you know, to get him where he needs to be. I feel hope that he's going to be able to one day, return to his home school and be successful and reach those goals that he has to graduate, to go to college. All of those things that everybody else hopes and dreams for. RICH: So I'll add one more question, just to say if you could give a piece of advice to somebody about The SUCCESS Approach and what it's meant to you. Take a second. I know you mentioned hope. What has The SUCCESS Approach brought to you today? DARLA: It is given me something concrete, something to learn from myself as a parent so that I can help him. I don't feel talked at. I feel talked to. So it's really just kind of given me something I think to hang on to. Sometimes we get stuck and we just go through the motions and it's given me cause to kind of just stop and take you know a step back maybe and look at who Nathan is and what he needs. Not just what I need for him. But what he needs. And I think we just have a tendency, you know, to get caught up in our in our lives and doing the same thing, you know, because this is what's working now. So it's, it's given me the ability to kind of pause and learn. RICH: Well, Darla, thank you so much today for taking the time to talk with us and to talk with our listeners about your SUCCESSful Nathan. It's been a great journey to travel with you on this episode. And please know that you're always welcome back to the show. If ever there's an update you want to give about anything or your journey with The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm). We'd love to have you back. LYNETTE: We would, and given that he's only been here about three months, we expect you to have updates because he is at the tip of the iceberg in terms of starting progress, but yet huge steps forward in a very short time, largely because of your communicative and collaborative nature. Not just because you are a social worker who knows how to, but because you're a great person, an amazing mom, who puts their kid above everything else which means you’re really a success Mom, so we appreciate you. DARLA: Thank you so much for having me LYNETTE: So my challenge for all the parents out there are to persevere in your parent heart in knowing the strengths of your child and securing the tools necessary to propel them forward. RICH: As we wrap up this episode, learning about SUCCESSful Nathan and talking with Darla, my takeaway from this episode is that The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) provides an opportunity for parents to really step back and take that breath, take their collective breath, and to ask yourselves, to double back and ask ourselves of why something may be happening and to have the tools to assess that why so that we can help our child feel like they're taking steps forward and not just getting by I really felt that was a really powerful episode. But there were so many powerful takeaways today. What about you? LYNETTE: Well, one that strikes me is to never, never disconnect yourself from what you know about your child. I think that if mothers and fathers and grandparents too, as an extension of that, really know their child and support their child, they end up securing the right health over time. And to not beat yourself up. It might be five years, 10 years, 12 years to find until you find right resource, but they're out there. So celebrate when you find them. Recognize that Yep, probably could have been done earlier, but it is what it ;is and picking up the pieces and going forward stronger, better -- now with the right supports -- is what it's all about. RICH: We would love for you to connect with us. Leave us feedback, a story or a question you're thinking about through our Speakpipe page. You can leave us an audio recording and ask away. Who knows, you may even be featured on one of our episodes, you can reach and use your phone or computer to leave us a voice recording. We'll put the link in the show notes as well, but that's forward slash connect with success. LYNETTE: We hope that you learned something today to help you on your journey with autism. We'll share more on our next connect with success podcast. Until then, expect success. RICH: The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm) is a registered service mark protected under intellectual property law. Unless otherwise specified, all music, audiovisual and proprietary content shared in this podcast is property of AWEtism Productions LLC and its sister agency Integrations Treatment Center. Use of this content is unlawful without the expressed written consent of aforementioned agency. For more information about The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (sm), Please go to our website at

For more information about The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach (SM), please go to our website at

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