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Meet Gabriel: Living with ASD and Flourishing
5-year-old Gabriel started pre-k just before the pandemic began in September of 2019. For many kids, starting school is an exciting time full of fun and making new friends, but it wasn't like that for Gabriel. Gabriel struggled to adjust to the routines of school. He hadn't yet learned to talk and he couldn't communicate with his teachers and classmates. He seemed miserable at school and his mom was worried.
Gabriel's teachers suggested to his mom that she schedule a free early developmental screening offered by Children's Specialized Hospital (CSH). Gabriel's mom made an appointment right away and that is how Gabriel took the first step toward a brighter future. The expert CSH screening staff identified concerns, shared resources and helped Gabriel's mom link to a neurodevelopmental evaluation, where Gabriel was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Steps were immediately taken to get Gabriel the help he needed. He was moved to a new classroom that could better meet his needs and he soon began speech and occupational therapy at CSH. Then, the pandemic hit and everything changed – New Jersey went into lockdown and school and therapies had to move to a virtual format.
Gabriel's team of expert therapists didn't miss a beat and his therapies continued seamlessly. It took some time for Gabriel to adjust to telehealth services, but he soon began to trust his therapists and engage. His progress has been amazing! In the months since Gabriel began therapy, he has made great strides with communication, he learned his numbers up to 50 and he loves working on puzzles!
Gabriel's story is just one example of the many children receiving services at CSH. Last year, CSH treated over 35,000 children – 9,000 of whom are living with ASD. With your help, our award-winning doctors, researchers and pediatric specialists will continue to pioneer new specialized care and serve more children in need. Your gift can help lead the way to a brighter future for children struggling with ASD and other special healthcare needs.
With your gift to Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation, you are helping kids like Gabriel get the specialized services they need to reach their full potential. You are giving hope to families and improving the future for children with special healthcare needs.
100% of every donation supports the vital programs and services that are transforming the lives of children with special healthcare needs.