John Martin and his wife Erin were troubled when they got the news that their son Jack, now five years old, was diagnosed with autism and global developmental delay.
Leading up to it, John says “I just knew something was off. Especially being our second child, I could see the differences in the way he was developing. He would lie on the floor and listen to the vibration of his toy car. We thought he had a hearing issue. We started by getting his hearing tested and found out that his hearing was OK. From there, we went down a path to getting a diagnosis.”
“At first, knowing that Jack has a disability was the worst thing possible,” says John. Gradually, with the help of an early intervention program and the Fidelity House Human Services Intensive Flexible Family Supports
program, the Martins have found many ways to help Jack learn and grow. “We have services after school three days per week. Jack has horseback riding, a social play group one evening, and gymnastics on Saturdays.”
“When we have questions or are just trying to figure out what to do next,” John explains “we have great people to talk to, like Kyle Chapman, our Fidelity House case manager.” Talking with other parents was also very helpful.
A senior program director at Fidelity House, Kyle has been working with Jack and his family for several months. “Kyle is great. She has suggestions, and when I have a concern, she makes me feel better. Kyle is the one who got us started at Flippin’ Out Gymnastics Center. Jack really likes gymnastics.”
When asked about milestones, John says “Jack has come so far. He is surpassing milestones. He wouldn’t talk at all. Now he is using sentences. He can express what he needs. This is such a big thing. In school, he is also surpassing milestones.” A loving child with a great smile and a budding sense of humor, Jack now enjoys family recreational activities offered by Fidelity House like trips to Water Country. “He loves rides” at Water Country and even Disney World’s Tower of Terror.
To the charitable foundations and donors who support Fidelity House Human Services, John has this to say: “It’s really important. To see what a child is like before Fidelity House is in the picture and then what a child is like after is just amazing. I’m very grateful.”