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  • Writer's picturePaula Migliaccio

YOU Have the Power to Change the Life of Your Special Needs Child--YOU!

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

You know how I know this? Because I’m the mother myself of my own special needs child, and when he was younger, insurance did not pay for ABA therapy—I only received parent training (plus a myriad of other therapies: OT, ST, Feeding therapy, PT, special ed) and had to learn how to help him myself. I'm the Special Needs Tutor Paula, Behavior Analyst, and here’s my story.

He was born not looking at me (no eye contact), not being able to chew, did not crawl, walk, talk, pick up things or interact at all with anyone around him. He had feeding therapy for 7yrs, he had zero language until he was about 4.5yrs old, and then he had 2 straight years of echolalia. While other families we knew were starting college funds for their little ones, we did not, not knowing if he would ever get that far. When he DID begin to talk, he was extremely oppositional and the tantrums and meltdowns from his earlier years continued, only this time with words being spewed at me. He could not tolerate even small changes such as driving a different route home, and he had to be pre-warned at school of any changes in the day at all, even fire drills. He was in typical schools with an aide, however, I looked for non traditional schools that believed in helping the “whole child” and had many parent volunteers, in order to help him “fit” and survive at school. I learned everything I could about how to handle his issues, his meltdowns—I was even the person doing most of the mouth manipulation to teach him to chew—I was “it”—I was more than a mom, I was an advocate, therapist, teacher (I had to homeschool him for 5th grade when he crashed out behaviorally from school) and essentially (I see now), the “rock” on which this child was able to grow and become the young man he is today. They repeatedly say at his IEP meetings that it’s impossible to tell he has autism and up until COVID19 came to town, he was getting himself up on his own for high school every morning, biking himself back and forth to school 20 minutes each way to a typical HS with an Engineering Academy. OH and we had to finally start up a college fund for him a few years back, because he is in his senior year of HS and he is definitely planning on going to college, to become either a pilot or an aeronautical engineer.

My son is a success—but I didn’t do it alone. I actually had great PARENT TRAINERS who came and helped me dissect my son’s behaviors, and helped me learn how to handle them. See, the best thing us moms have going for us, is that we know our kids inside-out and better than anyone else. When we share the information we know about our special needs child with someone who has a behavioral background and wants to help us, the sky’s the limit on the changes we can make happen in our child’s life (and also in our own!). I have been a behavioral therapist for almost 5yrs and I still have not seen any child as severely withdrawn as my son was at so young an age. It truly is a miracle that my son moved ahead and now can talk (sometimes using “colorful” language teens use to tell off their parents, and one would not believe that this kid used to not talk at all!) and function like other typical teens. He even has friends and his first girlfriend, this year. There are still challenges—he has ADD and ODD—but for the most part, even he’s told me he’s very grateful for all the help I gave him to help him become the young man he is today. I have to thank the parent trainers who were invaluable, and all the books I read that helped me as well (see my list of resources on my website: TutorPaulaBCBA: RESOURCES)

How can YOU help your child move forward and grow into the best version of him/herself you yearn to see? YOU are the KEY—moms are with their children more than anyone else, so whatever you learn, and carry out, WILL make a difference because you are there with your child more than any behavioral therapist will be, more than a speech therapist or occupational therapist or psychologist would be—more than anyone else, YOU are there! But how to know what to do? Get the help of a behavior analyst (like who can be your parent trainer and guide in how to make life better for not just your child, but yourself and your family also. For when we learn how to conquer behavioral issues or move our child beyond what anyone expected him/her to be able to do—life for the whole family improves!

Do you want someone who has “been there” also and experienced much of what you may be going through, help you figure out how to move your child forward along his/her growth path? Contact me, at for a FREE 1hr CONSULTATION about your child, his/her needs, and most importantly—about YOU—what you are experiencing, what needs to change, and what you’d most like to see happen. Learn how powerful you can be to change the course of your child’s life. Talk with me, and we’ll come up with a plan for moving your child forward in whatever direction he/she needs—whether that be behavioral therapy 1:1, or parent training, or even behavioral mixed with academic help (I’m also a tutor of special needs for 25 years now!). Have a FREE 1hr CONVERSATION WITH ME about what you’d like to see for your child’s future—Let me show you the power you have to change your child’s life!

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