Siblings playing, laughing, sharing, fighting…it’s all part of family unity.
For Rhonda and Richard Cenerini, and their son older son Colin, one of the hardest parts of loving their younger son and brother Alec, was not feeling the love returned.
“It’s one thing for us, because we understand that Alec has Autism and that he loves us even if he can’t show it the way a child normally would, but to try to explain it to our older son Colin, was really hard.” said Rhonda.
“He used to ask us – why doesn’t my brother love me? Why doesn’t he play with me like other peoples’ brothers?”
One of the significant changes the Cenerini family has seen in Alec since he began participating the Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) program 2 years ago through St. Amant is his ability and desire to show emotion.
“It was the best the other day, when Colin was reading a book on the couch and Alec cuddled right up beside him so Colin could read to him. They shared their snack and read a book for at least 20 minutes. That never would have happened before. And you could just see it on Colin’s face, he was so happy to share the book and the cuddles with his brother,” said Rhonda.
Other changes that the Cenerini’s have seen in Alec is his ability to talk, tell them what he wants or needs and to control his behaviour in public places.
“It’s manageable to take him on outings now”, said Richard. “He’s not as likely to have tantrums, so going out in public as a family is less stressful much more enjoyable.”
The Cenerini’s know that Alec could not have made the significant process that he has without the help of ABA. And this year, St. Amant has been able to switch his program to 100% Francais, to help prepare Alec to attend the same school as his brother in the Franco-Manitobaine School Division next fall.
“It’s a lot of work, but it is so worth it. I mean who wouldn’t do anything to help their child?” said Rhonda.