My Now Sociable, Fun to be Around Son

April 5, 2016

My name is Alissa Auer and my son Christopher has bi-polar and Autism. He’s always had problems communicating with others but I don’t think it became as apparent to him much as a child until he entered high school. He was old enough to realize that he was quite different and seeing that sadness in him broke my heart. He’s a great kid. Smart, funny, friendly- he loves little children and animals. He used to tell people he could talk dog and cat but not other animal languages. He rarely had friends and that broke my heart too. I just wanted others to see just how great he was. Even my family couldn’t communicate well with him. He was just always the kid that went to the back room of whatever family home we were visiting with his game boy and headphones while the rest of the family visited. And we were okay with that- but we shouldn’t have been.
I was fortunate enough to meet Susan Wood at a fundraiser for the Hope Center 4 Autism. The wonderful networking queen Stephanie Culver introduced us and soon we were chatting about social skills training at the Hope Center for Autism. I made an appointment to visit the center the next week and thanks to the help of a team of my family members I was able to have Chris start at the Hope Center 4 Autism in March of 2014. He attends social skills training every other Tuesday from 4:30-5:30pm. I’m fortunate to have my parents providing transportation for him to get there as we live in Keller. About 6 months after Chris started, my dad called me. It was around 4:40pm on a Tuesday where I knew he was taking Chris to the center so I thought there was a problem. He said- Alissa, Christopher talked to me the whole 45 minutes in the car today! He said, normally Chris has his head in a book or game and he’d get a few grunts of “fine” and “okay”. But today it was like he was another child. My dad was gushing about things they talked about and the things he learned about Christopher that day. Things I already knew that were wonderful about him but now, someone else knew too. And that was the start of my son transforming into a sociable fun guy to be around. It wasn’t always great but slowly he started talking to all of our family members and they soon got to learn the fun quirky and, yes, annoying things about Chris that my husband and I already knew. The important part was they finally got to know Chris. And that’s because of the great work that Susan Wood and her team do with Chris. And that’s just 2 hours a month basically. The miracles they do with the kids that come on a daily basis is amazing. I sit in the waiting room and see these excited kids come out after a day of therapy and their parents always seem so happy and grateful.
I can’t express how grateful my husband and I are for the services Chris receives. Soon he will graduate from school and start an independent living and employment program. I don’t think he’d be nearly as ready for this next step if he hadn’t met Susan Wood and her team at the Hope Center 4 Autism.