A mother of three children, Stephanie Hervey, is frequently overwhelmed: three of her children have autism, a social and communication disorder.
“Some days are so hard. They will cry for hours and hours. And there's nothing you can do. You start to wonder, did we do something and could we have prevented this?,”said Hervey.
She first realized that her daughter may have autism after she witnessed her then two-year-old taking apart the vacuum cleaner without any tools. Her daughter Jenessa’s technological abilities were dumbfounding as was Jenessa’s quiet demeanor.
After researching Jenessa’s behaviors, Hervey realized that her son and Jenessa’s younger brother Brian Jr. had autism as well. Finally, Hervey’s oldest son, Kobe, was diagnosed after Hervey realized that while his autism was less severe, the symptoms were there.
Hervey admits that she still feels some guilt as she found out about Kobe’s autism last and he received no treatment or therapy for a period of time
Now, Kobe has been seeing Dr. Akhtar Niazi in Lincoln and he is part of a new study that’s using a drug, Memantine, which is originally used for Alzheimer’s patients. Kobe’s mother is seeing positive results.
“Since taking it, he’s more communicative and will look at you more,” she said.
But while Kobe has progressed, Hervey’s younger children barely speak and rarely make eye contact. It’s a tough challenge for any mother but Hervey hopes that society will accept her children and their disorder.
“They’re like any other kids. They like to have fun. They have feelings, some more than others,” Hervey said.