At two-years-old, Tiago was withdrawn, often crying, aggressive toward others, and even harmful to himself. Rose noticed sadness and deep frustration in her child. Additionally, Tiago’s language was not developing. Rose and her husband, Brett, enrolled him in speech therapy through their local school district. They were given a referral to St. David’s Center to have a more thorough evaluation, at which Tiago was diagnosed with autism and speech apraxia—a disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements when speaking because the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movement.
Tiago started in the Autism Day Treatment Program at St. David’s Center, which included speech and occupational therapy twice a week. This comprehensive care allowed his team of therapists to see Tiago’s needs from multiple developmental angles and respond in a united and holistic way. “When your child receives a diagnosis, everyone tells you to go all different places and you feel pulled in different directions,” explains Rose. At one point, Tiago had ten therapists and doctors. Finally, at St. David’s Center, he had a coordinated team caring for him, getting to know the little things he liked and truly uncovering his potential. “We saw changes immediately after he started in the Autism Day Treatment program. He was just happier, and we only saw progress from then.”