Healing and Hope: How The Infinity Center Transformed Our Lives

Nick (dad) and I have been a team since high school in the early 2000s. Our first great adventure was when our son, Nicholas Arlo, was born in 2017 having survived IVF.  Nicholas’ arrival was followed by a challenging three-month stay in the NICU due to extreme prematurity. While most parents settle into routines and go back to work, we had home nurse visits and early intervention services. Nicholas thrived and grew before our eyes but sadly around age two he experienced his first regression. He lost the three words he knew and stopped talking altogether. A once full plate of a variety of food groups turned into only chicken nuggets for every meal and snack. Eye contact was lost and as time went on, self-injurious behaviors and “eloping” (running or wandering away) began. 

After aging out of an early intervention program. Nicholas entered a neurotypical pre-k program. We received daily phone calls to come pick him up. Our hopes of him catching up were dashed seeing how stunted Nicholas was compared to his peers. As we explored what was happening, we finally got our answer: Nicholas was diagnosed with level 3 nonverbal autism. This diagnosis brought a mix of emotions and a crash course in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research for Nick and me. 

In the middle of the school year, we pulled Nicholas out of his program and had him observed and admitted to The Brennen School for Autism. Within weeks, the daily phone calls started again. “Nicholas has made his nose bleed…” “Nicholas will be coming home with a bruise on his forehead…” “Nicholas needs to be picked up…” Around this time we realized we needed to move. New Castle County, Delaware, was not the place for our son to thrive anymore. 

In the summer of 2022, we moved to Harford County and began exploring Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. We had read the good, the bad and the ugly but we knew that we’d never know what could be if we never tried. At this point Nicholas was so dysregulated all the time that either his dad or I had to be home with him constantly. We could not take him anywhere. A trip to the grocery store was an episode of disrobing, hitting, and abandoning the groceries to get back to the car quickly. A moment too long of not giving him a preferred snack became headbutts ’til Dad or I saw stars. The majority of our days became bad days and our isolation increased. 

A coworker mentioned the Infinity Center. Armed with just the name, we researched and contacted the center. Within a month, Nicholas was evaluated and signed up for treatment. It was a scary new beginning to try solely therapy instead of the traditional route of pre-k for a 4-year-old, but we were exhausted and willing to try anything to help Nicholas’ personality come back to us as opposed to the shell of a boy that he had become. 

The first few months were incredibly difficult. Hearing our son described as “The most difficult case we have,” was heartbreaking. But little by little, we could see improvements. Our constant conversations with both Erika Greszler and Allison Casey, gave us so much support and reassurance that we were in the right place. Every two weeks we received updates on Nicholas’ goals, progress, and tools we could use at home. Gradually, our boy reemerged. His eyes sparkled with life, his communication improved, and we learned to navigate ASD challenges.

As we prepare to transition Nicholas to kindergarten, we reflect our journey with immense gratitude. The Infinity Center changed our lives.. From not being able to leave the house with Nicholas, to being so confident in his abilities to be around peers, engage in activities and work through challenges successfully and safely, we can say this would not be possible without the help we received. 

Every therapist, staff member, and clinician has brought our family confidently back into society and Nicholas is now the happiest, most hardworking 6-year-old you’ve ever met. 

The Infinity Center changed our lives and we could not be more grateful to have had this journey. Nicholas has been our greatest adventure and continues to be. We could not be more proud to be special needs parents.  


By Erin R., proud mother of Nicholas