When Jude Abatangelo’s parents found Generation Rescue, they knew their lives had changed for the better. “For the first time, I felt that we mattered. That Jude mattered,” his mother, Stephanie, recalls.
Stephanie and her husband, Frank, always understood that their son was special. Jude spoke in full sentences before his first birthday. He had unusual fixations with trains and the color blue. He spent significant time organizing his toys, as well as inventory on store shelves. Jude had incredibly heightened senses, and they had learned not to challenge his memory—he was usually correct.
At his four year-old check-up, Jude’s pediatrician suspected autism. A neurologist confirmed the diagnosis. “At first, we were crushed,” Stephanie remembers. “To learn there is something medically ‘wrong’ with your child is earth-shattering.”
But the Abatangelos got to work, searching through all the resources they could find. “Generation Rescue is where I really felt the opportunity,” Stephanie says. “There is no other place that offers the same individual attention for families like mine.”
The Abatangelos applied for and received a Rescue Family Grant. “We really wanted a doctor with autism experience,” Stephanie says. “I also valued the idea of a mentor, someone with successful experiences to provide guidance and direction.”
Now 5 ½ years old, Jude recently completed his grant. Before it began, he had never slept through the night. The Abatangelos found that a casein-free diet was Jude’s solution. “I finally have the best sleeper in the world!” Stephanie reports. “It’s a huge change. Someone Jude’s age truly needs sleep. And so do his mom and dad.”
The Rescue Family Grant experience empowered Stephanie and Frank as parents. “It was a new level of education, especially about diet and supplements, and it made us more comfortable being disciplined on Jude’s behalf,” Stephanie says.
Eager to build on these victories, the Abatangelos continue visiting their new doctor and customizing Jude’s protocol. “As parents, you always want your child to stand out for good things, and we do too,” Stephanie says. “But we also want Jude to blend in, in terms of behavior. That’s our continuing goal.
“Our Rescue Family Grant experience was awesome,” Stephanie concludes. “Without Generation Rescue’s assistance, we would never have been able to do anything like this for Jude and for our family.”