Marissa’s Story

When you meet Marissa, it is hard to believe that this beautiful young lady could have a problem in the world. But the truth is that she knows what it is like to struggle. Unfortunately, 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism – and Marissa is that one. Diagnosed with autism at only 18 months old, Marissa was one of the first children to be enrolled in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurologically based developmental conditions that are characterized by delays in three areas: language and communication, socialization, and repetitive and ritualistic behaviors. For each child, the severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Growing up, Marissa always knew she was different. She was frequently embarrassed and other kids would make fun of her because of her behaviors. Thanks to her supportive family, the experts at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Child Development Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Marissa’s courage and determination, she learned how to be aware of, and control, her behaviors.

The Center provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care focusing on evidence based treatment, education, research and advocacy for children with the diagnosis of an ASD. Our mission is to provide assistance to every child and family affected by ASD who is in need.

Today, Marissa is looking forward to a bright future which will include the things she has come to love and enjoy like dancing, drawing, singing, traveling, trying new foods, going to conventions, taking care of animals and spending time with her family. And she accomplished something wonderful this year. She graduated from high school with the rest of her class.

Marissa says, “Nationwide Children’s Hospital holds a very special place in my heart. Without their support, I would not be where I am today. It’s been a long, difficult journey but it was worth it in the end.”

 

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  • Name: Marissa W.Marissa Womack
  • Condition(s): Autism
  • Age at Treatment: 19 years
  • Age Today: 10/05/199623 Years

When you meet Marissa, it is hard to believe that this beautiful young lady could have a problem in the world. But the truth is that she knows what it is like to struggle. Unfortunately, 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with autism – and Marissa is that one. Diagnosed with autism at only 18 months old, Marissa was one of the first children to be enrolled in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurologically based developmental conditions that are characterized by delays in three areas: language and communication, socialization, and repetitive and ritualistic behaviors. For each child, the severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Growing up, Marissa always knew she was different. She was frequently embarrassed and other kids would make fun of her because of her behaviors. Thanks to her supportive family, the experts at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Child Development Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Marissa’s courage and determination, she learned how to be aware of, and control, her behaviors.

The Center provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care focusing on evidence based treatment, education, research and advocacy for children with the diagnosis of an ASD. Our mission is to provide assistance to every child and family affected by ASD who is in need.

Today, Marissa is looking forward to a bright future which will include the things she has come to love and enjoy like dancing, drawing, singing, traveling, trying new foods, going to conventions, taking care of animals and spending time with her family. And she accomplished something wonderful this year. She graduated from high school with the rest of her class.

Marissa says, “Nationwide Children’s Hospital holds a very special place in my heart. Without their support, I would not be where I am today. It’s been a long, difficult journey but it was worth it in the end.”

 

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