AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The month of April is National Autism Awareness Month.
The Amarillo ABA is an outpatient therapy facility that provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to individuals with autism.
“Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges,” explained Amarillo ABA’s Program Director, MacKenzie Cooley. In addition, Cooley shared that the Amarillo ABA practices different things with the individuals they see, such as social and adaptive skills.
Luke Morgan is one of the extraordinary individuals that attends the Amarillo ABA.
“He is sweet and loving, very affectionate, loves hugs and wants to kiss everybody, and he is absolutely in love with dinosaurs,” said Luke’s mother, Kelsey Morgan.
Morgan, shared that when Luke was around six months old, they went to a pediatrician for a typical well check. While she recalled that day, Morgan said, “I told her, my kid’s a genius.” From there, the family was referred to a pediatric neurologist, where they were told Luke had autism. Morgan explained that the doctor told her, “98% of my job is figuring out if parents are prepared to hear what I have to say.” In response, Morgan said, “I remember being at the appointment, and I just said, ‘Oh, I already know what you’re gonna say, I just need you to say it. So now we can do something, we can start moving.'”
Since then, the Amarillo ABA has been a big part of Luke’s life. “The therapists are precious. They- they love these babies, like they’re their own. They get excited about things happening that… then we get a text and all day, ‘hey, he ate cheese today.’ And you know, as a mom, it’s like, oh, my gosh, this is amazing, but they’re just as excited and as proud,” said Morgan.
During our interview, both Cooley and Morgan stated that individuals with autism are “Different, not less.”
Both women explained that every individual with autism has different needs. While some may be sensitive to sound, some might have sensory issues.
“Where Luke maybe struggles with food or speech sometimes, he excels in knowledge about dinosaurs, or some kids excel in knowledge about, you know, they’re very good with numbers and math,” said Morgan. Additionally, Luke’s mother shared that she does not view autism as a disability.
In the future, Morgan said they do plan to sit down with Luke and explain to him what exactly is autism. She continued, “So there’ll come a time where there will be an explanation, but I think even then the explanation will be ‘Hey, God made you this way. Purposefully. There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing less. It’s just, you’re so talented and so gifted in these areas.”
More from MyHighPlains.com:
- Texas beef prices continue to rise during the pandemic
- Amazon debuts pay-by-palm at some Whole Foods stores
- Subaru recalling nearly 875K vehicles over engine, suspension issues
- WATCH LIVE: New Mexico state officials provide COVID-19 update
- Better Business Bureau hosting ‘Secure Your ID Day’ ID protection event April 24, free of charge