Panhandle parents provide patience and love for autistic son - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Panhandle parents provide patience and love for autistic son

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April is Autism Awareness Month and one panhandle parent gives us a first hand look on what it's like to raise an autistic child.

Bill Boyer of Scottsbluff says his son Seth is like any other 8-year-old child. He loves playing video games, watching game shows and playing on the computer, but Seth is autistic which can present a challenge most days.

Bill says Seth is a lovable person and shows empathy.

"He makes you want to hug him," Bill smiled. "He has some of those features and some of those characteristics that a lot of kids with severe autism don't."

Bill admits some days he and his wife Reagan feel like pulling their hair out but at the end of the day they do what's best to raise Seth and choose to work around their son's schedule.

"We knew from the time he was little that something was maybe not quite right. He was at the very end of all of his developmental delays. As he got older we realize he was finally behind in more areas," said Bill.

No two children with autism are alike. Bill suggests if parents have any indication that their child may be autistic talk to a primary care physician.

He says he and his wife have found support from family and friends and by also attending "Parents Encouraging Parents" conferences led by other parents with autistic children.

Seth is a second grader at Lincoln Heights Elementary's Pride and Attitude With Style program (PAWS). The program focuses on improving behavioral skills and builds what's necessary for Seth to become successful and be transferred back to a general education classroom.

Seth started the program in January 2014 and his parents have already seen improvement.
"I think probably the hardest part is just admitting to yourself that there is an issue and you need help but once you can overcome that barrier and swallow your pride a bit there's a lot of people that want to help you," Bill said.

He wants other parents to know that there are support groups out there in the community.

"Remember what you're suppose to do," he said referring to lessons learned from support programs. "You're never going to follow it completely...there's lots of people that want to help you even if they don't say the right thing, they still want to help you and that's what they're there to do."


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