ETHAN'S STORY - AS TOLD BY HIS MOTHER
Before we started working with BIA, it was as though Ethan was covered by a veil. He didn’t want to interact with us, with objects or with his world. It was a terrifying place to be. BIA taught Ethan how to learn. It was a building block approach of breaking down skills into the simplest steps and teaching each step, one at a time. They learned what motivated him and used rewards to encourage him to work and play. Over the years that BIA worked with Ethan, that veil was removed and we discovered our son was an incredibly smart, social, outgoing and happy little boy who will undoubtedly one day go to college and have a career. He is now functioning well in a mainstream school setting.
BIA also taught my husband, Bruce, and me how to support Ethan. We, as parents of a child with ASD, are on a lifelong course of helping our son reach his maximum potential so we needed to learn how to teach and motivate Ethan once BIA was no longer in our lives. The BIA parent training helped make our family life more normal and manageable.
JACK'S STORY - AS TOLD BY HIS MOTHER
As a proud parent of a BIA alum, I’m thrilled to show this photo of my son, Jack, pictured between his godparents at his Bar Mitzvah. Jack attended Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto where his favorite subject in school was science, and in particular, zoology. After school sports include basketball (Jack is 6 ‘ 2” tall!) and tennis. In his free time, Jack plays guitar and is a vocalist; his favorite music genre is country. Jack’s passions are animals and endangered species, and he plans to pursue a career in this field.
What would BIA do without Ben? Ben was the MC at a BIA fundraiser and has become a seasoned volunteer, having already assisted at the Clubhouse. Ben also decided of his own accord to have some of his Bar Mitzvah gifts donated to BIA. Ben recently graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a B.S. in Engineering, and is working to help solve the climate crisis. He lectures part time teaching graduate psychology students about the experiences of autistic adults & teens. Our hats are off to you, Ben!
Laura was a former BIA student (at age 4). Years later, she contacted BIA to let us know that she was now in college and inquired about BIA summer internship possibilities. Laura spent her summer teaching at the BIA Clubhouse After-School Program. She was a tremendous asset and we are so happy that she kept in touch.
I’m 21 years old and I am a BIA alum. I’ trilled to show you guys this picture of me in Armenia. Every 4 years, I go to Armenia with Armenian scouts for a couple of weeks and we tour and camp in Armenia for 10 days, I attended Bullard High School for high school and obviously my favorite subjects were theater, math, and AP Psychology. In my free time, I create busy work for myself to do to keep me busy. My passions are dancing and singing. My favorite things to do are study theology, going to Los Angeles, watching and learning about history and writing about anything and everything. I now volunteer at BIA’s Clinic in Fresno, CA. I have been volunteering there ever since I was 17 years old (about 4-5 years now) . Even though I have Autism, nothing seems like it’s an obstacle for me.