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Published on Dec 9, 2013
http://bia4autism.org/ BIA was founded in 1993 and it was really at a time when the incidence of autism was much different. Before BIA was actually an organization it was an Apple Computer in my basement. We ran the business essentially in our cars all day long. We droves enormous amount of miles, enormous amount of miles. BIA started with 2-3 people and it grew into 80 people that we have today. Organizations such as BIA coming into existence really helped lay a phenomenal foundation and are continuing to do great work 20 years later.
Ben was diagnosed right before he turned two. They started coming to our home right after he turned two.
We knew something wasn't quite right when he was a newborn. We talked to some people who knew about different programs and everybody said BIA.
As first time parents it's nice to have people that have worked with children and know like what are those developmental milestones that they should meet and, 'What can Charlotte do?'
I was diagnosed at the age of 18 months with autism. Throughout this entire process my mom was very very determined and refused to take no for an answer. And I think that's initially what led her to Hilary and to BIA.
Children with autism learn by having an environment that creates constant learning opportunities for them. You can take a kid who, you have a sense of where they can go, but you're not positive and they could take off.
Without getting the intensive help that I needed there's no way I'd be where I'm sitting today. It's really high quality, intensive work. I love how it's one-on-one.
He was just so happy that they were there right from the start, and it's actually taught us a lot as parents.
They would set goals that we didn't think were realistic and they would work small pieces at a time to get to that large goal. It was six hours of intensive tutoring a day for six days a week, for two-and-a-half years, arguably the hardest I've ever worked in my life.
I love seeing a child light up and grasp something that we are hoping that they will grasp.
BIA has been great role model for us because we can watch the tutors interact with Charlotte and then we can take those things and use them the times that BIA's not here.
BIA cares about the child and the family. Where I see the program really making a difference for him is, he never really spoke before and little by little he's just gained his voice. Right now we cannot even imagine not having BIA in our life.
Recovering from autism has been a great thing. It's not something that defines who I am but it is something that I'm very proud of and really continue to strive and continue to become a better person every day.
Maybe before we were worried that there'd be a lot of roadblocks and a lot of limitations for Charlotte. I don't feel like that at all now, I feel like, that sky's the limit. BIA changed our life and Steven's life and made our family what it is.
I want the rest of the world to come and see what BIA does. I really want to see BIA be here for the next hundred years.