Welcome to Roman’s “Dash For Hope” for The Active for Autism 5K fundraiser founded by OAR (Organization for Autism Research)! Our Fun will be Saturday April 3rd The Soccer Complex Park in Kaysville @ 10am. 200 S. Angel St. Kaysville, Ut 84037
Many of you know that Roman was diagnosed with ASD High Functioning Autism, which is a Nero-Developmental disorder that’s characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication. High functioning Autism is often used to refer to those on the milder end of the spectrum, which is quite broad.
We noticed when Roman was a little more than a year old year that his socializing was different than other children his age. I noticed he would become destructive and aggressive during playtime and as a result very over stimulated, all of which was very stressful.
Roman officially started his journey when he began kindergarten. He had trouble staying focused and socializing and communicating with his teachers and peers was difficult. He would suffer from sensory meltdowns very often. I couldn’t ever be too far from home just in case I was needed to help out at his school.
When we first decided to have him evaluated, Roman was diagnosed with ADHD. From there it was a true team effort between his occupational therapist, guidance counselor, his very patient teachers and implementing lots of learning and focusing tactics. With the help of these amazing people and a medication that worked well for him, Roman was able to complete Kindergarten like the rest of his peers.
After Kindergarten, our family moved to Utah and Romans journey continued to unfold as he started first grade in a new school. While he was excelling academically, he still had a rough time socializing and communicating and had a few personality quirks that were similar to High-Functioning Autism.
After researching and reading a lot of articles about Autism, I decided to listen to my intuition and took Roman to The Neurobehavioral Behavioral Children’s Center (NBCG). Once again, I requested for Roman to be tested for Autism, and this time he was diagnosed High-Functioning Autism along with ADHD. We learned of a wonderful therapy program called ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis), also known as behavioral engineering. Behavioral engineering is a scientific technique concerned with applying empirical approaches based upon the principles of respondent and operant conditioning to change behavior social
Now, after two years of ABA Therapy three days a week, three hours at time at the clinic and at home with his two amazing therapists, Jennifer and Melissa, Roman has learned ways to socialize, communicate, calm himself down in any situation, and throughout his life with peers, family and friends. As a family, we have learned so many techniques and been given many tools to help Roman continue to excel. While this was a large undertaking for our family, we wouldn’t change a thing!
Programs and organizations like this have been so life changing and such a beautiful gift for Roman and our family. We see a light in Roman that we couldn’t see before being introduced to resources for his Autism. He learned how to ski last November. It’s the first activity Roman has show excitement and passion for and we couldn’t be more excited to see where it takes him! Our friends gave him a framed map of his favorite mountain for his 9th Birthday and he has already memorized every trail, and every lift. He also tried sushi for the first time and loves it!
Roman’s journey with Autism will continue with bumps along the way, though we do really believe with the tools and resources he has been taught, his future is bright and the sky is the limit for him! Jevon and I are so thankful for the opportunity and resources our family has been given through ABA Therapy. We are forever grateful for Roman’s two therapists, Jennifer and Melissa. For their knowledge, loyalty, unconditional love, time, patience and devoting their lives and careers to helping Roman and children like him and their families to succeed in living a healthy, happy and prosperous life. These two amazing women will always have a special place in our hearts.
Roman is such a inspiration to me and our family that when I stumbled upon the Active For Autism 5K, I knew this was my opportunity to pay it forward. My hope is to be able to not only spread awareness but also hope and education about resources and opportunities that are out there and available to families and children like mine. Together, with your help, I know we can continue making a difference!
We look forward to those who are able to join us virtually or in person Saturday April 3rd virtually for our 5k fun run to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month!
Feel free to share Dash For Hope’s link with anyone you would like to or invite anyone to join you in person or virtually. The more the merrier!!!
Thank you so much to all of our family and friends for all of your love & support! Love, Nikki, Jevon, Roman & Mila Yeretzian.
April is Autism Awareness Month and every year OAR holds it’s yearly Active for Autism Please help me support by making a contribution to my fundraiser and sharing this page with your family and friends. Every dollar I raise will advance Organization for Autism Research's great cause!
All proceeds from the Active for Autism Virtual 5K will go to OAR’s new Changing Lives Fund and will be used solely for direct research and programs support. In November, OAR will allocate the available funds to support one of OAR’s new research studies. Our goal is to raise $80,000, enough to fully fund two research studies. Any funds raised over $80,000 will go to support OAR’s mission to apply research to the challenges of autism.
WHY RUN FOR AUTISM? 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. By joining the RUN FOR AUTISM team, you’re supporting OAR’s mission to fund research and resources that help people with autism and their families today.