When Damien turned two years old, his mother Tatyanna noticed that he wasn’t talking as much as she thought he ought to be. She brought her concerns to Damien’s pediatrician which started a long process of referrals, visits with an ENT, psychologist, audiologist, ADHD diagnosis, plus lots of waiting rooms and wait lists. As Damien’s behaviors progressed, Tatyanna was determined to find the right services and answers for her son. That’s when she was connected to Southwest Human Development’s Center of Excellence program where she scheduled an Autism evaluation for Damien.  

Tatyanna was nervous, but the Center of Excellence team guided her through the evaluation process. Hours later via Zoom, she learned that Damien was diagnosed with Autism and would need speech and occupational therapies. Tatyanna was anxious and unsure of how to help Damien, but the Center of Excellence team provided the resources and support to help her obtain the services that Damien requires.

Now Damien is progressing with speech therapy and even told mom in a full sentence how much he enjoys his new favorite activity – swimming! In addition to that, Damien loves coloring, playing with cars and dinosaurs, jumping on the trampoline, and Buzz Lightyear.


Though this was a long road for her to navigate, Tatyanna is thankful she didn’t have to do it alone. Upon the conclusion of Damien’s evaluation, she valued being told that she could always reach out to the team with questions or concerns.