At three months old Roman’s mother Heather discovered he was a Johnny Cash fan when the sound of the music made him stop crying. Roman is now 8 and on the Autism Spectrum, he receives Rainbows’ Targeted Case Management services and works with TCM Lia Hampel.
“I can always get a hold of Lia,” Heather said. “She has been incredible throughout our entire process.”
Recently Heather has begun the process of choosing a new school for Roman. Lia has stayed right alongside her in giving her the information and resources she needs. “She is helping us find the right fit,” Heather said. “Lia is a wealth of knowledge.”
There is a strong bond between Lia and Heather in their role of advocating for Roman. Heather advocates for what Roman needs to Lia, who in turn advocates to the right channels for his needs. They both do their best to ensure this smiley, happy boy gets what he needs to be successful. “Roman is so much fun,” Lia said. “He has such a personality.”Although he is nonverbal, Roman is advancing in his communication skills with the use of an iPad.
“I think he is underestimated,” Heather said. “He is not an autistic child, he is a child with autism.”
Due to her experience with Rainbows, which began in October 2014, Heather believes it is an amazing resource for any parent. “I went into it thinking that I wouldn’t need the help, since I had been doing so much on my own,” said Heather. “Now I don’t know what I would do without Lia and Rainbows. Services are high quality and individually specialized.” Roman’s TCM services are funded through a grant from the United Way of the Plains.