When Jonathan Hotham was three years-old, he could not talk, had frequent meltdowns and would often bang his head against hard surfaces when frustrated. Concerned about his behavior and already managing a child with special needs, Jonathan’s parents, Ken and Vanessa, turned to ErinoakKids.
Clinicians first placed Jonathan in the Preschool Speech and Language program in the fall of 2011 to help develop Jonathan’s speech. Eight months later, he was flagged as showing signs of autism. ErinoakKids paired Jonathan with an integrated services facilitator to help address his problem behaviour early.
Applied Behaviour Analysis
Later that year, Jonathan received an official diagnosis of autism and became eligible for Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI), an intensive form of therapy for kids with autism. While he waited to receive IBI services, Jonathan began receiving Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) support, a type of autism service available at home and school to help him manage his harmful and aggressive behaviour.
Thanks to programming that combined speech language and ABA therapy, Jonathan began to make steady gains. He started using gestures and then words to communicate. He made such good progress, clinicians also suggested occupational therapy, music therapy and social work services. Through these services, Jonathan learned basic toileting skills, activities of daily living and how to better focus on tasks. His parents, Ken and Vanessa, learned how to manage the stress of caring for a child with a disability.
Intensive Behaviour Intervention
At age 7, Jonathan began IBI. His behavior improved,
he began imitating words and phrases, and following directions. He also moved into a school-based IBI classroom, where he learned social, play and leisure skills such as asking to join games and negotiating with friends. He also began participating in ErinoakKids’ respite services and day camps.
Connections for Students
In early 2017, Jonathan returned to his neighbourhood school supported by Connections for Students, a program designed to transition children from IBI to mainstream school. Today, he is fully integrated into a Grade 3 classroom and has developed a love of technology, coding and math.