As Chase and I live out each day, I am continually aware that lives are literally created and sustained by decisions, actions, and relationships. One of the most significant and life changing decisions, actions, and relationships I've ever made for Chase and myself, was with CARD, after Chase received his diagnosis. CARD is an acronym for The Center for Autism and Related Disorders. CARD was established in 1990 by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh. Dr. Granpeesheh and her associates created a treatment program for children diagnosed with Autism. The first office opened in Los Angeles in 1990. Today there are 17 offices in the United States, 1 office in Sydney Australia and 1 office in Auckland, New Zealand. CARD clearly believes in the potential and the unique value of each individual, and they are dedicated to discovering and nurturing concrete ways to bring that potential and value to life. In 2005 the CARD Research and Development department was established. The department is committed to scientifically investigating assessment and treatment strategies. CARD’s goal is to use their findings to educate professionals and the public, and by doing so help those they treat reach success and even recovery.
Chase and I were with CARD. for six years, and their commitment, professionalism, knowledge, and skills have proven to be invaluable. Their work was not just a job with a paycheck - it was a personal passion and investment in the life of Chase, myself, and a greater purpose. CARD understood and practiced partnership with me as a parent. There were no generic, artificial, cookie cutter curricula or techniques that they tried to use with every child. They studied Chase, listened to my insights, took in Chase’s doctors input, brainstormed ideas, and then put it all together to create a program that catapulted Chase into a higher dimension of existence. The daily therapy that the CARD. team established was all encompassing, intensive, and designed to strengthen, establish, and improve Chase’s eye contact, comprehension, language, speech, self-help, socialization, physical coordination, eating habits, and personal care. They were also key in advocating on Chase's behalf with the school he attended, and they equipped me with parenting techniques that would benefit both Chase and me. The basic foundation that CARD provided, was not just life changing, it was life giving. CARD provided hope in action, and helped turn potential and possibilities into reality.