This week, the Indiana ACT for Families coalition is delighted to feature Natasha Navas from Westfield, Indiana. She is a mother of a 6-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who was inspired to begin a career as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy after seeing her son’s dramatic improvement.
Natasha first learned that her son was demonstrating signs of autism at his two-year checkup. Like many parents of children with autism, she was initially overwhelmed by this diagnosis, but set out to find the best way to help her son. After doing extensive research about her son’s options, she decided to try ABA therapy. However, there was limited access in her hometown of Los Angeles, California. In order to receive the best services for her son, she packed up her life in California and moved to Westfield, Indiana where the ABA center was only a 15-minute drive away.
“We were able to move to Indiana, specifically for ABA therapy, become enrolled in Medicaid and begin ABA services for my son,” she said.
“I Wholeheartedly Believe in ABA Therapy”
When he started ABA therapy, Natasha’s son was nonverbal. After just a few short months he could functionally communicate. “He had maybe 10 words when we started ABA and now we are moving towards sentences at times,” she said. “For example, yesterday, he was able to tell his therapist he had an earache.”
As her son shows improvements through therapy, Natasha is also able to feel the impact it has had on herself and her family. “ABA has given me and my family the confidence and ability to do things we never imagined we could, like go to restaurants and the grocery store,” she said.
The success of her son’s ABA therapy inspired Natasha to pursue her own career in the field so that she could help other families like hers. “Seeing the improvement in my son, I wanted to be able to give other families the same consistent quality therapy that my son receives,” she said. “So, last year, I started the program to become an RBT.” It has offered her the ability to gain a deeper insight and understanding into her son’s behaviors, and how to help him reach his goals and become, all-around, more independent.
Indiana ACT for Families is a broad coalition of Hoosier families, ABA therapists, ABA therapy providers, and stakeholders, including The Arc of Indiana and other advocacy groups, working to advocate in support of promoting access to high quality ABA therapy services in Indiana. For more information, please visit www.IndianaACT4Families.com.
For press inquiries please reach out to [email protected].