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Mar 9, 2016 1:13 PM

New Crotched Mountain venue gives autistic children and families hope


MANCHESTER - Imagine not hearing your child speak his or her first words until the age of 2. It’s a reality for many Granite State parents learning that their children have been diagnosed with autism.

On Wednesday, the Crotched Mountain Foundation opened its second facility for children and families dealing with this disability.

At the new facility’s grand opening in Manchester, NH1 News met Ben, Brody and Arman. All three are special little boys who may need some extra help sometimes. They all have been diagnosed with autism.

“I guess it all started when Ben was 2. He stopped talking completely,” said Rachel Briggs, whose son is in the program.

“Usually kids, their first word is ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ and there was none of that,” said Michelle Becerevic when she remembered her son Arman before his diagnosis.

These women, who did not know at the time what was wrong with their children, started to worry.

“There was a lot of worry and I didn’t know if it was me,” recalled Becerevic. “At first I was angry because no parent wants their kid, everyone just wants their child to be normal.”

“There were points where he couldn’t communicate with me and it would get really frustrating and all I could see is the frustration,” said Briggs.

Soon they all found Ready, Set, Connect!

It is a supplemental learning program now in Manchester and developed by the Crotched Mountain Foundation. The program is giving kids that extra opportunity to work one-on-one that they might not be able to get at school.

“I know we didn’t tell people about it, it took us time to digest it and to process it,” said Sharon Dionne whose grandson is also enrolled in the program.

Dionne remembered a time where her grandson, Brody, was a very anti-social little boy and often frustrated and having a hard time communicating.

The children in the program are working towards being like everyone else.

“To think of where he might be without these services, I mean it really does make me want to cry over it because it is wonderful. I think we’ve been blessed,” said Dionne.

Follow the link for more information on the programs and facilities available through Ready, Set, Connect!

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