Vidya Banerjee is the mother of an autistic teenager. At 18 months, she noticed her son was no longer hitting his milestones and experiencing some behavior regression. During a visit to the US, Vidya’s mother-in-law suggested that they seek out information on autism. Although it would take about a year to get an official diagnosis, Vidya and her husband learned all that they could. Her advice to parents is to seek out professional advice as soon as you can, because the sooner you’re able to accept the situation, the sooner you can get on the road to helping your child.
Vidya’s advice to a BCBA or practitioner would be to first make sure you’re creating a strong bond with the child. If they get along with you, they’re more willing to learn and succeed. Also, involving the parents as much as possible is important, as consistency across home, school and therapy is a major factor in a child’s progress. As a parent, you can never ask too many questions and you want to make sure you and your child’s support team are always on the same page.
Taking things a step further, Vidya went through a 3-year school program where she learned speech, occupational, and ABA therapy. This really enabled her to truly become her son’s best advocate, knowing that the more informed she was would directly benefit her son. Vidya recently started a podcast called Autism Family Story, where she shares information to help other parents on this journey.
- Vidya’s story of being a mom to an autistic son and becoming a therapist herself.
- Advice for practitioners on how to best work with parents and children.
- Why it’s important to involve parents as much as possible.