Nicholas Mathias Schulte was born on Wednesday, July 9, 2003, at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, PA. He was a big, beautiful, healthy baby boy weighing 9lbs 5oz and measuring 22 inches long. His birth was uneventful and his father and I were so happy to welcome him to the world and our family. Nick developed normally meeting all of his physical milestones. We didn’t notice that there were any difficulties with his development until he wasn’t meeting his verbal milestones.
We voiced our concerns to his pediatrician and he told us that it was normal for a boy to develop his verbal skills later than girls. So we waited, still, Nick was not communicating. Finally, our pediatrician referred us to the Developmental Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. Nick was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Autism) and from there we hit the ground running!
Nick began wraparound services around the age of 2. These services continued until he reached the age of 4. At the age of 4, Nick began preschool at the Long Run Children’s Learning Center in White Oak. Nick did well. When he reached the age of 6, Nick was accepted into the St. Anthony’s School Program at St. Angela Merici Catholic School in White Oak (now known as Mary of Nazareth Catholic School). It was truly a blessing that the St. Anthony Program was housed at St. Angela Merici. It just so happened that our daughter was a student there and it really helped make the transition for Nick a smooth one.
Nick is currently in 8th grade and has been there ever since. We have been so blessed to have such wonderful teachers, Mrs. Beth Sieg and Mrs. Bridget Perlaky, who we feel have really made a difference in Nick’s life. We continue to see Nick mature and learn. He has made friends and his social skills have improved so much! He has come so far since he started the program at the age of 6 and we are so thankful that the St. Anthony Program was and is there for us.
Nick will begin his high school education next year at Serra Catholic High School where he will continue to learn and grow with the St. Anthony Program.