Meet Sebastian Cordoba, a 7 year old tennis player with autism at 3 years old. After seeing a difference in his development compared to his older sister Valeria and after talking with his teacher, Sebastian was diagnosed with ASD.
“It was hard for my wife at the time of diagnosis but my time of reality was when he started Pre-K in the mainstream class but after a few days, the teachers thought that it would be better for Sebas to be a part of the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities program,” Juan, Sebastian’s dad said with a little tremble in his voice.
One of the obstacles Sebastian has been working hard to overcome is his speech. “He didn’t speak much before we started ABA therapy and as he was starting the different therapies, we knew they were all going to be in English,” the Columbian native mentioned. “To help him, we decided that we had to speak one language and we chose english. It was hard because a lot of our family members spoke only Spanish but they understood that it was for his benefit.”
Since then, the bike lover has overcome a lot of his speech delays and has since transitioned to mainstream classes with support on some specialized classes. “We are so proud of him and everything he’s already accomplished,” the beaming father said.
The very energetic boy has also improved on working with his sister and playing with her as she participated in some therapy sessions. As a child who needs to be and feel clean, when one afternoon recently he got messy and continued playing without asking to go home and clean “it was a victory,” his dad said excitedly.
Sebastian’s parents wanted to find something he would be interested in so when they saw a sign for the ACEing Autism program at the UTD in Dallas, TX, they got intrigued. Sebastian’s sister was in a tennis program a month before after we decided to sign him up, “he started counting the days to the first session,” his dad said laughing. “He was so excited already and after his first session, he said he had so much fun, and when we asked who he played with he proudly told us “I played with my coach.”
Sebastian is still working on his stimming but he has already made tremendous progress. Thank you Sebastian, Juan, Claudia and Valeria for sharing your story and we are so happy to have you as part of our family!