The Wahl Family

Autism Services


There isn’t anything Carrie and her husband, Chris, wouldn’t do to help their three-year-old son, Carter. When they noticed that he wasn’t developing and responding normally, Carrie and Chris talked with their pediatrician and began to do some research on their own.


Through this research and input from physicians, Carrie and Chris ultimately decided it wasn’t important for them to have Carter “labeled” with a developmental disability, but to instead find solutions to the problems he was experiencing. That’s when the family found Southwest Human Development’s autism services for children on the spectrum, as well as the agency’s in-home therapy services.


At two years old, Carter still wasn’t speaking and was spending hours playing alone and some of his play habits were repetitive in nature. Southwest Human Development therapists helped Carrie and Chris learn how to interact and communicate with their child and began working with Carter to improve his developmental progress and behaviors. The family was also able to interact with other children and families to help Carter socialize with others. Within the first week, Carter was using sign language, allowing him to finally communicate and express his needs to his parents.

“I felt so lost and frustrated,” said Carrie Wahl, Carter’s mom. “It was nice to meet other Southwest families and learn about their experiences. I didn’t feel alone.”


Today, Carrie and Chris consider their son’s progress to be amazing thanks to the support the family has received from Southwest Human Development. His eye contact has improved dramatically, he enjoys playing in the sandbox – which he wouldn’t go near before – and he’s social with other children, engaging in imaginary play and smiling. Carter now speaks in short sentences and even says, “Mommy, I love you.”


“It was great that everyone at Southwest was under one umbrella,” added Carrie. “I didn’t have to go all over the place for services. They gave me the tools and solutions to help my child.”

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