From the beginning, Susan Moore suspected her daughter Allyson was different. Although the challenges were significant in Allyson’s early childhood, including multiple daily meltdowns, poor impulse control, and risky behavior, Allyson’s mom took comfort in her daughter’s ability to make continued progress.
With various evaluations over the years, Allyson was diagnosed with ADHD at 8 years old and with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at age 9. By treating and understanding her ADHD, Allyson told her parents she gained the chance to think about and apply what she was learning, instead of impulsively acting in the moment. Social skills groups further helped Allyson gain the tools she needed so she could more effectively participate in group activities.
Susan reached out to Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy (WAAA) for help on multiple fronts, from finding resources and new providers to addressing insurance challenges.
Once Susan and WAAA teamed up, they worked together with her husband’s employer, Cascade Drilling, to address the company’s autism insurance coverage. As a result, the company changed its policy to fully cover ABA for all 1,100 employees, regardless of what state they live in from coast to coast.
“I am in awe,” says Susan, “WAAA used its knowledge and legal expertise to help my husband’s company change our insurance coverage without needing to go through appeals or litigation.”
Armed with resources and knowledge, Susan is also actively working with Girl Scouts of Western Washington and to advocate for inclusion of students with disabilities. Susan enthuses, “Allyson’s future is brighter as she is progressing with providers and resources like WAAA. Those resources help us know how to ask for the resources we need so we can help our daughter and our family.”
She continues, declaring, “The spectrum is still in the background, but it’s not the main character in Allyson’s story. She’s out in front and a delight in our lives.”