Will joined our Hope Institute family when he was just seven years old. He'd been turned away by four different agencies. His parents were desperate to find a place that could keep him safe and healthy, so that he could focus on learning.
Every day, Will struggles to communicate and control his aggressive behaviors. And, like many children with autism, he has difficulty managing and understanding sensations - certain sights, sounds or tactile sensations can be overwhelming to him.
But Will's particular sensory processing disorder is extreme - it's a food aversion that's seriously threatened his health.
When Will came to Hope, he was significantly underweight. The only food textures he could tolerate in his mouth were cheese puffs and milk. He couldn't even be in the same room with other foods because the smells were too disturbing to him.
Hope's therapists knew that, without a healthy, balanced diet, Will wouldn't be able to do his best in school. So they got right to work, creating a desensitization plan that specifically addressed his food aversion.
Read more about Will's Hopeful future...