World Autism Month: TD Bank's Benefits Help Parents Receive Vital Services

Denise and Jordis Hampshire

April 29, 2019 - Diversity & Inclusion DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

No victory is too small for Denise Hampshire.

Denise is a TD Bank Marketing Specialist based in Mount Laurel, NJ and the mother of an 11-year-old daughter, Jordis, who was diagnosed with autism shortly before her second birthday.  Since her initial diagnosis, she's been getting a wide range of interventions and services.

"There are joyful moments," Denise said. "Every little step and progress is a victory."

Because of the early intervention, there have been a lot of victories for Denise's family. Jordis attends public school, taking a combination of specialized and mainstream classes.  Denise credits her family, friends and community for helping to ensure her daughter receives the appropriate services. TD Bank is included in that community as Denise was able to utilize her employee benefits to help pay for a number of these programs.

"TD is highly involved," Denise said. "I think it's awesome that a company steps up and offer this kind of support."

Autism affects individuals in different ways

TD's health plans cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which medical experts agree offers the best, long-term prognosis for living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ADS), said Sheila Gleason, TD Bank's Head of U.S. Retirements & Benefits. 

"It's important to note that there's no cure for ASD, but by modifying behaviors, individuals can greatly enhance their functional life skills and experience, improving communication and social relationships, while reducing repetitive and restrictive behaviors," Sheila said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have autism. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, there is a wide degree of variation in the way it affects people. Every child on the autism spectrum has unique abilities, symptoms, and challenges.

TD's health plan covers autism care for individuals, caretakers and families. Board-certified behavior analysts, mental health clinicians and additional providers assist families with treatment.

Never give up, never take no for an answer

Denise is grateful for the benefits provided by TD and encourages parents of children on the autism spectrum to take full advantage of all available opportunities.

"Here is my best advice: Never take no for an answer," she said. "If there's a will, then there's a way. Explore every opportunity, every avenue because what may work for one might not for another.  If you first do not succeed, try, try and keep trying again and again. Don't give up."

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