Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Meet Wyatt.

Wyatt is an All-American guy you’d love to have for a best friend. He is very outgoing with good looks, a wonderful personality, and enough charisma and charm for anyone. Wyatt is also a 20 year old adult with autism.

Wyatt came to the Autism Treatment Center when he was 5 years old.  He and his 2 siblings were removed from their parent’s home and were placed in foster homes.  Ultimately, Wyatt’s siblings were adopted by another family; because of Wyatt’s challenges brought on by autism, he was left behind in the foster home.

In 1998, Wyatt enrolled in the Educational and Residential programs at ATC and started receiving therapy services, as well.  Wyatt has grown from a small child to a young adult before our very eyes.  We have seen his struggles and shortcomings, but we have been there to share his successes and joys, as well.  After all, ATC has been his family for over 15 years.

Wyatt stands at 6”1’, though he is thin as a rail.  That’s because he loves to dance.  AT ATC’s Spring Prom or Fall Dance, you can always find Wyatt on the dance floor gliding to the latest hip hop song, dancing in perfect rhythm.  While he is not dancing, Wyatt is working on basic living skills and increasing his own independence.  

Wyatt is still in ATC’s residential program, though he has a dream of someday moving out to his own apartment and getting a job to support himself.  While he now requires supervision to assure his daily tasks get accomplished, his ATC support staff is doing everything they can to teach Wyatt the skills he would need to accomplish his dream.  Wyatt can do his own laundry, cook delicious meals, and complete daily living skills.  Most of all, he craves independence.  When his residential supervisor told him that he would be moving in to his own room and would no longer share a room, he jumped out of his chair and high-fived everybody in the room!

In 2005, Wyatt enrolled in a Dallas-area public school and learned to read on a first grade level and write very basic sentences.  While his educational goals are being met, Wyatt still has a ways to go to achieve full independenceWyatt is still working on behavioral issues to minimize meltdowns and to follow multi-step directions.

Wyatt has career aspirations to be a chef.  He has trained with the Tiger CafĂ©, ATC’s in-house culinary program for budding chefs who often cook with visiting professional chefs.  In fact, Wyatt wants to own a food truck so he can travel around the city and cook for lots of different people.

Walking with him every step of the way are his teachers, support staff, therapists, and all his friends at the Autism Treatment Center.