Alex came to VIA when he was four years old, and in the past six years his family has seen constant progress. But when Alex started working with VIA’s Outpatient Behavioral Services team this spring, the Senesacs saw a new change in their ten year-old.
“We’ve always seen baby steps with Alex but Outpatient has provided a boost,” said Alex’s mom Kelly Senesac.
VIA’s Outpatient team worked with Alex to help him learn to take a walk with his family. A strip of pictures guides his route, starting at the mailbox and marking points along the way, like street signs and parks. At every landmark Alex interacts with his family members, giving them a chance to enjoy doing something together.
“He’s totally engaging with it, we’re able to explore that shared attention, and it’s just a fun thing for us to do with him,” said Kelly. “He’s successful at it and he knows it.”
VIA’s Outpatient staff has given Alex several opportunities for success at home by laying the groundwork for him to entertain himself while his mom makes dinner or helps his sisters.
Kelly says the Outpatient team has come into Alex’s natural environment (a contrast to the controlled environment he has at school) and taught him how to live in it with patience and understanding.
“It’s helping him to see that he’s part of our family – he’s part of a bigger unit,” said Kelly.
The Senesacs hope this will help Alex learn that he is part of a broader society. Taking a walk in the community is just the first step. Their next goal is for Alex to sit and watch one of his sister’s sporting events, instead of running on the court or running away. And with Outpatient’s help, the Senesacs say that goal is in sight.
“Everybody that sees Alex comments on the change in him,” said Kelly.
Kelly says she’s grateful for the wrap-around care Alex receives through VIA’s all-day school program and the extra attention from Outpatient that is adding to his ability to grow.
“We would be nowhere if we didn’t have VIA,” said Kelly. “We’re grateful for all of it.”