Piera at a Seahawks game.

I am not a born and bred Seattle Seahawks fan, but I have become one as an adult and recent transplant from the city by the bay.  Ever since my first season with the Hawks, I have been inspired by Coach Pete Carroll’s vision, enthusiasm, and example.  I enjoy watching games from home and especially at CenturyLink Field (I get to go to one game a season with my husband who has season tickets with his father).  I had no idea until I read the Seattle Times on Saturday, April 14, that I have even more to admire about the Seahawks franchise.

In Saturday’s Seattle Times, Steve Kelley, staff columnist, wrote an inspiring article about Seahawks’ general manager, John Schneider, his wife, Traci, and their son Ben who has autism.  The Schneiders shared openly about the long process of obtaining the right diagnosis and therapy for Ben and how they are raising money to help other families cover the cost of therapy and medical care.

At ICAN Center for Autism we strive to make the process to a diagnosis and therapy shorter and more informative.  To this end we offer clinical psychology, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, developmental therapy, applied behavioral analysis (ABA), social skills classes, assistive and augmentative communication or iLearn, and an onsite preschool (Lakeside Academy).  In addition, we recently began a home visit program to provide more in depth parent education and support in naturalistic settings.

Mr. Schneider was quoted in the article as saying, “Autism is an extremely fast-growing epidemic, and we have to help the parents so they can help their kids…” At LCA we aim to provide the best hope and future for families managing autism and one way to do this is through parent education.  Parents are their children’s most important teachers, because they will be with their children much more during a week and a lifetime than any therapist or other caregiver. It is vitally important for parents to be involved in the therapy of their child with autism to promote consistency and follow through.  When a parent teams with the therapists their child learns new skills faster and is able to use those skills in more environments and situations with a variety of different people.  The more opportunities a child has to practice new skills the sooner they will be ready to build on those skills and learn new things.

Mr. Schneider was also quoted in Steve Kelley’s article as saying, “There’s a ton of hope out there. It’s not all gloom and doom.”  We at LCA see hope every day and cherish the opportunity to guide families and children to a better future.

And to conclude, here is a video of Mr. and Mrs. Schneider sharing about their new scholarship fund and their experiences with their son, Ben.

Posted by: Piera, Speech-Language Pathologist