Daniel Gerbert and his amazing class at the Pinnacle School in Stamford, CT have provided their visions of the joy of the holiday season! What a talented group of students and more importantly, such a great reminder of our appreciation for their strengths.
This year we ask for you to think of Autism Speaks when you are doing your year-end giving. I know we are!
As a little boy, Daniel appeared to have many “quirks,” that were unlike other children his age. He seemed distant at times, unable to make eye contact, sensitive to noise and light, and extremely uncomfortable with transitions. At first we thought it could be sensory processing disorder, which usually concurs with children on the spectrum. Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses. Daniel received lots of therapies and had undergone numerous testing procedures. Daniel was finally diagnosed with Autism and General Anxiety Disorder by the age of 6. When he was first diagnosed, our hearts were broken and we felt so isolated. It is devastating to think something is wrong with your child; but this also empowered us to help Dan to find the right place in which to develop skills and become a successful and independent part of society.
We are especially thankful to the Autism Speaks organization. They provided us with tools and resources to help get us where we needed to be with Dan. We were fortunate to find a lot of resources around our area. This process has been a learning experience for all of us. We are so fortunate that Daniel is on the “higher” end of the spectrum and is thriving in a comfortable and supportive environment. He is now a 10th grader attending The Pinnacle School in Stamford. This program works with students such as Dan who are on the spectrum. He continues to work on academic, social and emotional skills that are imperative for his independence. We could not be more proud of his accomplishments. He has truly enriched our lives. We have learned so much from Daniel and this entire process.
-Jeff and Alicia Gerbert