Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 27, 2014

Battling autism

Mother helps son defeat difficulties

VALDOSTA — Ten years ago, Adriana Galindo gave birth to a healthy baby boy whom she named Elias Meza. The first few months of his life were spent developing normally as he exhibited all of the typical infant communicative and behavioral steps.

However, Galindo soon noticed that he seemed to be regressing. His attempts at beginning to speak ceased and he soon quit holding eye contact. Concerned, she traveled to a physician for a diagnosis. It was originally thought that she was simply an overreacting mother, but through persistent seeking, Elias was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 2.

The diagnosis threw the life of Adriana Galindo into a spiral. All former plans of going to law school fell to the wayside as she pursued the best options for her son. Studying everything about this disorder, she soon found all the therapy options for her son. He began with occupational therapy and she became trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis. This allowed her to not only better work with her son, but to also help other children in his situation.

Now 10 years old, the boy whom they thought may never be able to speak can spout out numerous facts about whales, the scientific names of a variety of dinosaurs, and even list all of the notable characters from old Godzilla movies. He is also an avid reader. He enjoys trips to the local library so he can further study the topics that interest him, like dinosaurs, and aspires to be a paleontologist.

He is also a Webelo in the local Cub Scout Troop 440 under the leadership of Cub Master Tom Clark. Elias enjoys all of the fun and camaraderie of Cub Scouts and earns all of the badges, belt loops and academic pins.

It was for one of these badges that he wrote a report about a topic that concerned him, which he sent to The Valdosta Daily Times. Elias wrote about pollution.

Elias keeps busy through numerous activities to help his developmental skills and meet other people.

“It’s good for him and other kids to get to know each other,” says Galindo.

She describes autism as children being trapped in their own world and people have to work to enter into their world. He attends sessions at More Than Words Pediatric Therapy to help further his ever-growing conversational skills and he is a student at Hahira Elementary School.

With a puzzle piece tattooed on her wrist, Adriana Galindo represents just one of the many mothers that will continue their fight for acceptance and understanding of their children until all of the pieces fit together.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Justice_Scales.jpg Second ‘Quitman 11’ case mistrial

    Another week-long trial ended again in mistrial last week in the case of Lula Smart, the Brooks County woman charged in a case of unlawful possession of election ballots, according to court officials Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • graphic.jpg School systems get report cards

    South Georgia school systems received mixed results, with some showing performance increases while others suffered decreases, in the College and Career Ready Performance Index released Monday by Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • flood4c.jpg Flood warning extended

    A flood warning for the Withlacoochee River at Valdosta has been extended until Wednesday afternoon.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results