When Maverick first started showing symptoms of autism, his pediatrician suggested day care as a way to develop his verbal skills.
“We tried daycare, but there were a lot of missed opportunities because he wasn’t neurotypical like everyone else there,” says Krissy Atcheson, Maverick’s mother.
That’s when Krissy brought Maverick to the ChildServe Childcare Center in Johnston, Iowa. The staff identified Maverick as a good fit for Autism Day Health, and invited him to join the newly established preschool classroom of children ages two to six.
Just months after starting in Autism Day Health, Krissy describes seeing tremendous improvement in her son.
“I’ve heard more words from him,” expresses Krissy. “Maverick’s non-verbal, but the other day, he told me ‘no’ when he was irritated with something I was doing. It was a huge step.”
In addition to his verbal skills, Maverick has also been progressing in physical ability, according to Occupational Therapist Emily Rossiter.
“His body awareness and coordination have improved,” says Emily. “He can put on his own socks and shoes now, and he’s improved his fine motor coordination and writing skills.”
Krissy credits the ChildServe staff with providing a caring, accommodating environment in which Maverick can thrive.
“I feel like he is included in more things because the ratio of kids to adults in the room is so low,” says Krissy. “When the ratio is eight to one, like it is in a regular day care, there’s just no one there to help him.”
The Autism Day Health program employs one staff member for every three children. The result is an environment in which every child receives the utmost attention and care.
According to Krissy, Maverick loves having that extra attention.
“He always walks right into the classroom,” says Krissy. “There’s never a problem leaving him. He’s always super happy. It’s really encouraging to me that he feels so comfortable and loved by the people that are taking care of him.”