JUSTIN
Laurel Heights Hospital
The Discovery Program
Atlanta, GA

My happy son Justin was diagnosed with autism at two years of age. At age nine, he began injuring himself, mostly at school with an occasional bite to the back of his hand or possibly a slap to his face/ears. As a very proactive mom, I immediately called an IEP meeting, asked the right questions, did the things that should be done, and developed a plan with the school to better deal with these new behaviors.

I found out about his school’s decision to use a seclusion box, where he had been spending every day, restrained and separated from his classmates. They were not following his behavior plan, and after putting a stop to their newly constructed seclusion area, we discussed what appropriate interventions could be made. But by this time his self-injury was almost constant, and he had picked up a new behavior, aggression towards others.

As a single mom with little resources or help, I discussed options with his specialists and decided to visit Laurel Heights Hospital. Quickly, we decided that this was Justin’s best hope for immediate help. Justin began using his words again, and their ABA program addressed his bad behaviors. As the staff carried this out consistently, from day to day the frequency and duration of these problem behaviors diminished and his speech steadily increased.

I owe so much thanks to the wonderful staff at Laurel Heights Hospital, for showing us what a consistent and effective program looked like, for helping us regulate his meds, and for loving my son while he was so far from home. They gave us a foundation; and the data collected there made it easier to obtain services when he got home. My happy son came home and has continued to receive ABA from a local provider, where he has made tons of progress and his self-injury continues to decrease. And the aggression towards others is completely gone now!

I remain determined to never have to go through anything like this ever again, but it is comforting to know that Laurel Heights Hospital is there, with their exceptional staff of heroes. They saved my son who is now 11 years old and talking better than ever!

Thank you all,

~Cindy (Justin’s Mom)