Marianne Rivard

Hi, I'm Marianne Rivard, I live in Leominster, MA and represent the families of the North Central MA region.
 
We have (2) beautiful sons, Ryan age,10 and Daniel age, 6.
 
Ryan is our typical developing child and an absolute god-sent for Daniel. Daniel too is the love of our life and was diagnosed with Autism / (PPD-NOS) at age 2.5 years old.
 
It was a mother's intuition to inquire at age 2 at his annual pediatric check up about my serious concerns of Daniel's lack of speech and language. From that moment forward, our lives changed forever, and it started with the call I made to Early Intervention. Fortunately, Daniel was quickly evaluated and he did indeed meet multiple qualifiers to begin the journey with EI.  We also wanted Daniel professionally evaluated by reputable medical specialists in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder which lead us to further evaluation(s).  In retrospect now, I am so grateful in so many ways of the speed in which we were all able to identify and put into place, the much needed services and supports to best help Daniel to achieve his greatest potential.
 
Daniel is doing very well today, highly functioning in all the domains of Autism, and able to be as typical of a child as possible and we are very pleased with his progress.
 
This is all due to the early supports and services provided to us and directly to Daniel. We continue even today to utilize the supports and services available at the Center and to try to stay abreast of the areas we should to best serve Daniel.
The Center also offers to families a very expansive Autism library collection that is constantly being enhanced and has much to offer.    
 
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend and participate in many, various workshops offered at the Autism Resource Center. These workshops directly enhances our life with Daniel and the understanding and dealing with Autism, and even included a sought after fantastic FLOORTIME Part1 and II workshop, which is a beautiful, highly-effective therapy to enhance and engage your child.  This 2-part /12-wk. workshop even developed a very special caring bond amongst the parents who attended.
 
The Autism Resource Center is a network of families that share a common cloth and we can support one another in many highly effective ways. 
 
The diagnosis of Autism is at an all time high and still we are searching for answers.  Without the amazing support and on-going, continuous knowledge provided to our family from the Autism Resource Center with their various venues, Daniel clearly would not be where he is today. We are forever grateful for showing us the way along a path already traveled by such caring, dedicated and knowledgeable individuals.  The Central MA Autism Resource Center is a key component to any family that is looking for support and offers a wide variety of ways to assist families at various stages in their lives.  Our needs are all different yet the Center can tremendously help us all -- that is an amazing feat and one which we are so blessed to have so close to home located right here in West Boylston, Massachusetts.           
 
Through all the early days since Danny's diagnosis and attending the various outstanding, informative workshops and many OT, PT, and behavioral and speech therapies, our family has learned and continues to learn what it means to have a child with Autism but equally important is how we will proactively support and advocate for Daniel.
 
 
We welcome and encourage all families affected with a family member of Autism to contact the Autism Resource Center and discover the great supports and services to assist and strengthen you and your family.   

Sincerely,

Marianne Rivard

Family Advisory Board member since 2010