Progress to Date

Funds Raised 2019: $142,493

32% of ATPF 2019 Operating Budget

Children Screened: 17,696

SLP Students Trained at SJSU: 2,100

Barbara Beach

Barbara Beach

I stumbled on the Autism Tree Project quite by accident. I was convinced my then 3 year old son was autistic. However, since he was “high functioning,” it was hard to get support for my idea, let alone intervention. So I searched the web and found a preschool training seminar being run by ATP the next night. It was clearly a private party for pre-school teachers that were required to be there and I was quite out of place, but not for long.

The fact that a “random parent” showed up was an exciting sign to them that their word was getting out. The fact that they immediately embraced my attendance was a sign, they wanted to help.

The discussion was fascinating as all the teachers were immediately in agreement that they have ASD kids in their classes that need help. The “signs and stories” were all so familiar to them. These stories were all so familiar to me too. I left there with a new confidence that I am the one who knows most about my son. I am the one that needs to tell others, not ask others, that he is autistic.

This prompted me to write an essay to my pediatrician telling her what behaviors I saw and how I knew he needed help. This was a letter that ended up to be 8 pages long and left little argument over the diagnosis. My son received the diagnosis only a few weeks later. And only a few weeks after that, he was enrolled in SDC, ABA, became a regional center client, and had speech and occupational therapies.

While the path through early intervention is a bit bumpy to say the least, my son has traveled far from the days of spraying a squirt bottle in the backyard for 8 hours a day. Now he is excited to attend school, greets his parents and family, and interacts with his siblings. I never would have imagined him able to do these things just a year ago. Early intervention has clearly given my son a future.

The Autism Tree Project was the catalyst for this process. That first meeting I attended out of chance taught me to take the first step in helping my son. At every milestone my son now meets, I am prompted to call my friends as ATP and report the success that has come from their efforts.

Grateful, Barbara Beach