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Gevryel Sison spent this past summer like most active youngsters his age: having fun on the playground with friends or splashing around in the swimming pool. But it was not always that easy for the 9-year-old from Elmwood Park to fit in.
Communication Challenges “We knew our son was developmentally delayed, especially with his language,” said Gevryel’s mother, Mona Sison, who noted that Gevryel typically responded to questions with one-word answers. “At school, he was in special education and also received physical, occupational and speech therapy.”
But Gevryel also avoided eye contact with others and needed help in social situations just to say “Hi.” “He had other unusual behaviors, too, like becoming agitated with loud noises and throwing tantrums when he became frustrated because he couldn’t express himself,” his mother added.
Determined to get a formal diagnosis and the best help she could get for her son, Sison traveled from the western suburbs to meet with NorthShore Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician Evora Brent, MD.
Invaluable Intervention “In our Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Clinic, we work with children and their families to address any concerns they may have about developmental milestones, learning challenges and any associated behavior challenges,” explained Dr. Brent, who holds an academic title at the Pritzker School of Medicine. “This information is invaluable in helping us identify a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.”
After a comprehensive evaluation over several months, including obtaining information from his family and school, Dr. Brent diagnosed Gevryel with autism spectrum disorder.
“Dr. Brent made specific recommendations based on his needs,” recalled Sison. She revised Gevryel’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), placing him in a specialized, self-contained classroom and increased speech therapy sessions at school. Dr. Brent also referred them to behavioral analysis therapy to better manage his autism symptoms.
“The unique feature of NorthShore’s clinic is our primary focus on the child and family,” noted Dr. Brent. “We have enormous resources at hand and a team of specialists to help families manage their child’s medical care. We help access and coordinate any support they may need either through school-based services or private therapy and counseling.”
“We are so relieved and thankful,” exclaimed Sison, who uses NorthShoreConnect to stay on top of Gevryel’s care, including scheduling follow-up appointments and reminders right from her smartphone. “Dr. Brent has been key to Gevryel’s improvements and his change in behavior has been dramatic. He has more self-confidence, is making more eye contact, and is taking the initiative to play with and talk with kids his age. He also is taking swimming lessons and joined the school choir!”