Special Needs Families Feature #4 with Christine Trevino & her family

September 05, 2020

Special Needs Families Feature #4 with Christine Trevino & her family

We are the Trevino family. Our family consists of 3 people. My husband Peter and our 2 year old son Roman and I. We live in one bedroom apartment located in Orange County California.

I am a stay-at-home mom while my husband works endlessly maintaining 2 jobs to provide for a family.

Roman was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 20 months and started receiving ABA therapy at 22 months, since November 2019.

Regardless of a small apartment we have managed to set up a play area for Roman.

This area is reserved for play time as well as daily sessions of ABA therapy. With the help of therapy on a daily basis Roman has made great improvement. Although Roman is nonverbal he has managed to show great progress with learning sign language, keeping eye contact  and working on sounds such  as “G” “E” and “I”. 

We have had many challenges but also many blessings that have come a long throughout this journey. Nervous and afraid of possible meltdowns we decided to take a family trip to Disneyland this year in the month of February 2020.

We were not sure how he would react to the live shows, characters, loud noise and big crowds. To our surprise Roman enjoyed every moment of the day.He was highly engaged with people around him. He kept eye contact, clapping and laughing with excitement and showed no emotion of being overwhelmed.

Our emotions were full of overwhelming love and joy when we saw him light up full of happiness 

Roman's interaction with friends and family has come a long way as well. Every week he has FaceTime calls with cousins aunts uncles grandparents and friends. Roman's interactions and engagement consists of reading time singing songs and talking about the day. He uses sign language to communicate and tell you “All done” “ Hi” and “ Bye” His communication skills have made great improvement and we look forward to learning more with him. 

Our lifestyle has changed but our lives have been blessed with such a beautiful being.

The challenges we will endure but I cannot begin to describe the beauty of it all 

When did you realize that your Child had autism/special needs. And what were the behaviors that compelled you to seek out support?

It was brought to our attention at Roman's 18 month old check up by his pediatrician that Roman was showing signs of autism lack of speech,  eye contact & the constant flipping of his toy. It was recommended to have him evaluated so at 20 months old he was evaluated & diagnosed with ASD. 

What has surprised you about parenting a child who has autism? 

We knew of autism but really didn't understand it fully & after getting educated it all made sense all of Roman's behaviors, flipping & meltdowns it was all a surprise & new to us. We knew it would be a lifestyle change. 

What is the hardest part, in terms of parenting, of having a child who has autism?

The hardest part for us is the communication because Roman is nonverbal & trying to help him with his wants & needs.

What has been your experience in getting your Child the resources he/she needs in school?

Roman has been getting ABA therapy since November 2019 And we have seen such growth & progress he has come so far in a matter of months. 

What is like to parent a child who has autism and a child who is a neuro-typical child?

Roman is our only child  

How has parenting your Child changed you as a person?

This has without a doubt been challenging & heartbreaking. At times you can't help but to feel helpless but it’s always been beautiful and amazing. We have made this  lifestyle change for the love of our son. 

Which aspects of your child’s character do you cherish? And what have been your parenting triumphs and struggles?

We love Roman's laugh when he is overjoyed. He lights up our lives with how determined he is to figure things out for himself. 

One of our triumphs would be how successful Roman has become being independent doing things on his own. A lot of our struggles are due to him getting frustrated with us for not understanding his wants & needs because he is nonverbal. 

What do you wish parents of neuro-typical children knew about your parenting life?

I hope that neurotypical parents knew that I don't allow my son to walk all over me because I'm calm & patient while my son is having a meltdown because he's struggling at the moment. 

What have you seen changing over the years with respect to resources and support for parents of children with autism? And what do you see as the glaring need, right now?

We have been on this journey for less than a year and I haven't seen much change in this amount of time. We have received more support from families with children on the spectrum & it’s quite sad to see the lack of resources.

We are a low income family & we appreciate the funding we qualified for through RCOC for one year of therapy for our son one year!! After he turns 3 we are on our own & whatever the school will provide for him. We financially struggle & will be on our own because our insurance is a joke and we come out of pock. There needs to be better & affordable insurance that covers any/all services at 100% or better funding for low income families so that they can help get the services they need for their child/children to be successful.


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