Watson said she began attending Tuesday morning Coffee Club with Leslie Stephens because she wanted and needed to meet other mothers for additional support. She said she needed to know other moms who were going through the same types of trials, tribulations and emotions.
``I needed a safe place to obtain information as the internet at that point in time for us, as a young, scared couple, was terrifying when you typed in `autism,’’’ said Watson.
Watson said her son participated in the Otsego County Early Intervention Program before attending the Kelberman Center. Ashton is a Cherry Valley-Springfield student, but is part the autism support program at the Cooperstown Elementary. He is integrated into the mainstream firstgrade class at Cooperstown with typical peer children and a Kelberman trained aid.
Ashton still receives speech, occupational and physical therapy, but is independent for gym, music and art. Watson said her son still uses social stories on certain occasions.
``He talks with us about picture schedules and how they assist him when he is having tough days, and he is able to deep breathe to help him relax,’’ said Watson.
According to Watson, Ashton played fall soccer with the Cooperstown Soccer Club last year and is signed up for the spring league. She said Ashton also recently participated in a Cooperstown High School basketball clinic to benefit those with diabetes. Watson said she is hoping to enroll Ashton into the Kelberman’s autism camp for the first time this summer. She said the camp includes horseback riding and a swim program that looks to be very interesting.
Ashton, who is vocal, has progressed remarkably, according to Watson. ``We have such a great team supporting us and giving us advice along the way,’’ said Watson.
Watson said the staff are always sending materials home, such as social stories, so that she and Marc can help Ashton at home. It’s amazing how the little extra work really helps him, said Watson.