What was the need(s) that your child and family had before you received autism treatment services?
Poor communication, limited interaction with others, bolting from us in public and out the door at home, no
visible relationship with his twin sister, poor eating, fits of crying and screaming (inconsolable).
Where did you search for an autism treatment program and what did you learn from the process?
We started the search when we applied for the waiver, but really started moving forward in anticipation of
Soren turning three and completing the birth to three program. We had ultimate trust in our psychologist,
Dr. (Rick) Clark, and he led us to FamilyPath.
What stood out to you or made you feel at ease about choosing FamilyPath?
First, Dr. Clark's recommendation. Using the Early Start Denver Model was important to us since floor time
was so successful in Dr. Clark's office. Then once we met Amy (Leventhal, PhD), we knew we had the right
provider- she's amazing.
What were your perceptions or experience about working with an autism treatment provider and how have those perceptions changed since working with FamilyPath?
I have friends with children on the spectrum and I have experienced their interactions as a bystander. I
never saw such deep relationships with the whole family in those instances. Our experience seems so much
richer than what my friends experienced.
What was your experience like working with our staff during the initial intake process?
Great! They jumped right in with Soren and got to work- no lag time.
What has your experience been like working with our clinical staff?
Amy and Keri Kraus (Senior Program Manager) are really in sync. There isn't anything I can't ask one or of
them and I get an immediate response. Everyone communicates so well. We don't have to wait for team
meetings to discuss a daily issue. We made a decision to send them to a K3 program at a private school
and they jumped right in to support us. FamilyPath is the epitome of a village raising a pretty special child.
What has FamilyPath and the journey you have shared with us meant to your family?
So at first the plan was to have his twin do something else while therapy was going on. It didn't take long to
realize that wasn't going to work- they were used to being attached at the hip. When I expressed my
concern, it was immediately respected, along with my concern that they needed to have a relationship with
each other if I ever wanted Soren to have a relationship with anyone. Maisey was thoughtfully brought into
some play sessions and they both learned to take turns, communicate, and play together. That was
priceless. Maisey learned how to communicate better with him and now they play together really well.
What would you recommend about FamilyPath?
I had the opportunity to speak to a potential client (and I'll gladly do that again). I told her that this isn't
therapy for that one child, but a transformational experience for everyone. There seems to be someone in
my house all the time. They ask about our family, they ask about Soren's night since they were there last.
Mostly what I appreciate is how much everyone is so personally invested in Soren's whole person. He's a
funny little guy, and our team meetings always involve several, "Guess what Soren said??" stories with lots
of laughter. Nobody except the staff would even guess that they are working on goals- it looks like Soren
has a lot of grown up playmates, but next thing you know, he's not throwing dishes, he's eating 'duck
pepperoni' (red peppers cut with duck cookie cutters), he's potty trained, he's saying that first he'll put on his
shoes then he'll go outside, and those frustrating moments where we couldn't communicate with our baby have faded way into the past.
Is there anything you would like to add?
When Soren was diagnosed, we didn't know what his future would hold. It's really terrifying to be in that
moment. He would disappear into his own world most of the time (Sorenville) and nobody else was invited.
When I look at our relationship now and what a ray of sunshine our little guy is, it's nothing short of a
miracle. Dr. Clark said the other day that Soren should come in more often because he makes us all release
much needed endorphins! What a testimony that is! Soren has a sunshiny future and we appreciate every
moment that our FamilyPath friends contributed to that success. I'm not overstating it. If you doubt it, you
need to meet Soren.
- Kari, Mother of Soren ( age 3 )