New study shows children with autism being bullied, Wickliffe center teaches ways to cope

WICKLIFFE, Ohio - A new study shows nearly 75 percent of children with autism have been verbally bullied and half were ignored in social situations.

The Integrations Treatment Center in Wickliffe is working with a new treatment plan that is providing a positive vision for families and children in dealing with all aspects of autism. The plan is called he Success Approach. The whole idea is to involve more than one therapy in treatment.

"Occupational therapy, speech language pathology, special ed, psychology and all of those theories work together. It's not just taking one theory and applying it to the child," Assistant Director Ellen Winney said.

This approach helps a child speak, walk or whatever else they are challenged with as part of their disorder.

One of the children who is working with the Success Approach is 4-year-old Dominic Regan. His parents, Patrick and Joy, said they found out he had autism when he was just a year old. They searched for something new or different to help their son. They wanted to go outside the box with the latest treatment available.

Joy Regan said since they found The Integrations Treatment Center, it's only taken one year for Dominic to learn how to communicate.

"He never misses a step. He never misses a piece of information that will help him grow."

For both of these young parents, that's a true relief. They said before the therapy, Dominic would cry and scream because of frustration. Now, he can point at things to help him communicate and he's learning sounds. 

"It's based on what he needs, not what a governing body says all kids need. It's designed for specifically him," said Dominic's dad, Patrick.

With all of this attention, guidance and special help, the center is also hopeful it will make children strong as they grow and have to possibly deal with bullying.

"When they are secure in themselves and their world, we say where their body stops and the world begins, they have the ability then to come to a place of being able to stand up for themselves," said Winney.

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