Five years ago, Justin Marroquin, now 7, was diagnosed with autism, which explained some personality quirks like moodiness, attention and social issues.
Like most families in their situation — an estimated 1 in 110 children are diagnosed with disorders on the autism spectrum — his parents, Laura and Jerry Marroquin, at first had to face the shattering possibility that their son would never lead a normal life.
Nevertheless, the Marroquins are grateful today. That's because the diagnosis was made early, and helpful treatment soon followed during Justin's core developmental years.
"We might have never caught up on some of the basic skills," Laura Marroquin said of getting her son treatment, which consisted of a combination of therapy and holistic medicine at an early age. "Doctors have said that a child's developmental stage falls off after about age 5. That doesn't mean that you couldn't treat a 12-year-old, but you likely wouldn't get the degree of progress that we've seen in Justin."