Early signs

Signs pointing in different directions

Joondalup mother sees early signs of autism

Debbie Alvarado knew her son’s communication issues were beyond the diagnosis of ADHD he received at five years old. Last year, when now 13 year old, Ryan was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Debbie was not surprised, rather, disappointed. As a result of Ryan’s late diagnosis he missed the opportunity to undergo Early Intervention Therapy.

Ryan currently attends a mainstream school with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that caters to his capabilities. “He has modified lessons in English and Maths. Generally, school is quite difficult for Ryan because he doesn’t comprehend readings and can’t clearly express the questions he needs to ask for help. This means his academic delays are compounded as he can’t question the things he doesn’t understand, meaning progression academically is slow.”

“At home there are also hurdles. Ryan has a younger brother named Lukus who will turn 11 in November. At times their interaction is quite difficult because Lukus doesn’t understand Ryan’s disorder and can inadvertently torment him, which can lead to a meltdown.”

Debbie was looking for more local support and first learned of Positive Partnerships through an email she received from Autism WA.

“Positive Partnerships has inspired and motivated me. I now know that I can have an active role in guiding Ryan's education. I've been given the right tools to work collaboratively with the school, to achieve the best learning outcomes for Ryan.”

“I have recommended Positive Partnerships to other parents because it has provided me with a clear path to work with the school to assist Ryan. School support is something that is important to all parents who have a child with autism.”

“In addition to the workshops, I have found the Positive Partnerships website to be a great resource which provides me with a huge amount of information. I always encourage other parents to log onto the learning portal for support and assistance.”