Four year old Noah Thornton is Autistic.
“There are challenges with his sensory issues and some activities we have to modify or avoid all together,” said Noah’s mother, Jennifer. “Even so, I can’t say Noah’s diagnosis affects our everyday life negatively. It is a blessing to see the world through his eyes.”
Noah has been with Rainbows since he was 18 months old. He initially received therapy through the Bright Beginnings Infant/Toddler program for children ages birth – three. When entering services, Noah was not speaking more than a few words. Rainbows worked with him through age three and then helped transition him to pre-school.
“This was an amazing help to me because I was not familiar with that process,” said Jennifer. “At four, Noah is now speaking full sentences and able to communicate with everyone, not to mention how greatly his social skills have improved.”
Noah currently receives Targeted Case Management through Rainbows. His Targeted Case Manager, Vanessa Noble, provides crucial support to the Thornton family in a variety of ways.
“Vanessa is full of knowledge about what is out there and available for Noah. Getting funding for things that are otherwise difficult for us to obtain due to life circumstances and finances is huge,” said Jennifer. “Noah is always first in our family, so getting help with his needs is amazing and very helpful to the entire family.”
Noah can have challenging behaviors and experiences sensory integration issues. Thanks to the Blarney Breakfast, Noah will receive a number of sensory items for self-calming. Among other useful tools, Noah will receive a weighted snake, Stetchyz sheets, and a Hanging Crow’s Nest. Weighted items like the snake have been shown to calm Noah by giving him deep pressure and the sheets will apply this same kind of pressure while he is in bed to help him sleep. The Hanging Crow’s Nest is a swing. This swing will wrap around Noah to calm him and limit over-stimulation. As his Case Manager, Vanessa is confident that these items will help curb Noah’s behaviors.
By recommending services and helping the family navigate the opportunities available for children with Autism, Rainbows has been a continuous wealth of knowledge for Jennifer and her husband.
“If it wasn’t for Rainbows, I would have never known about putting Noah in pre-school or been aware of the sensory tools available to him and our family,” said Jennifer. “Rainbows’ staff is so caring and truly top-notch.”
According to Jennifer, Rainbows’ staff goes above and beyond when it comes to helping children and families. Rainbows now sees Noah’s brother, Kade, for speech therapy.
“We are a Rainbow family,” said Jennifer. “I have even texted Noah’s first therapist, Kara Knight, many times since aging out of her care. She is always very helpful and gives us things to try if Noah is having sensory or behavioral issues.”
The Thornton’s are proud of Noah, and want others to know that his diagnosis does not define him.
“Noah is the most loving and caring child,” said his mom. “He is so brave and so determined to learn. Even with the services he has received, I don’t think Noah would have gotten as far as he has without his own determination to learn new things. He amazes me every single day, and I am so incredibly blessed to have him as my son.”