For the first time in his life, 6-year-old James Riché will be able to verbally tell his family “Merry Christmas” on the special day.
The Madera boy, diagnosed with autism when he was two, began to speak this year after four years of intense therapy and tutoring.
“The statistics say that by 5 if you’re not talking, you’re not ever going to talk. Well, by five-and-a-half, James could talk,” said his father, Tim Riché, the Work Experience Supervisor at Madera High School. “Parents should know that there’s help out there and you should get as much help as you can as early as you can. Some don’t get help until they’re four and you miss out on so many years of help.”
In Madera, there is a lot of help available for autistic children, the Riché family says, including programs offered by the Madera County Office of Education and Madera Unified School District...