“I owe the Y my life,” Jennifer Petredis says simply.
Two years ago Jennifer’s twins, Aiden and Alex, were diagnosed with severe autism. In addition to numerous physical problems, the boys wouldn’t speak. They didn’t interact with the world around them, and their motor skills were underdeveloped.
Then Jennifer visited the Clippard Family YMCA Autism Center (ALC).
“From the moment I walked in, I could see how much the therapists at the Y cared and how hard they were going to fight for these kids.”
For Jennifer’s four-year-olds, the fight is paying off. Aiden can say nearly 30 words. Alex can name shapes and type the first letters of the alphabet when he hears the ABC song: an indication that he understands what he is learning, despite his struggle to communicate. Thanks to occupational and physical therapy at the Y, the boys have both grown stronger and they’re learning to socialize.
While Jennifer celbrates all of these accomplishments, she says it was the moment last fall when Aiden joyfully greeted her, “Mommy! Mommy!” that made her realize how far her children have come.
“He’d never called ‘Mommy’ without me prompting him,” she explains. “I can’t tell you what it’s like to hear the little voice you’ve waiting four years to hear”
The Clippard Family YMCA Autism Learning Center is located at 8920 Cheviot Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215. Their Phone number is 513.923.4466. Visit them online at http://www.myy.org/our-ys/branches/clippard-ymca.