King is a 4-year-old who loves to play chase with his dad, Nathan. King also has autism. Providers in our Psychology and Behavioral Health department diagnosed him when he was 2. Since then, care, including speech and occupational therapy, has helped him enjoy family activities more.

During the pandemic, psychologist Dr. Amanda Hastings saw King via telehealth visits multiple times a week. Not having to go to the hospital for appointments lowers stress for King. It also saves Nathan time and money spent on cab fare and childcare for King’s younger brother. Nathan says treatment over the last year has lengthened King’s attention span. “He has made so much progress with Dr. Hastings,” Nathan says. That progress means that King can enjoy life more, like visits to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo near his home in Washington, D.C.

“When we get back to the zoo, it will be an entirely different experience because King is so much more functional,” Nathan says. “I can’t wait to take him to see the elephants. He’s going to love it.”

Nathan says Dr. Hastings has guided him to be a better and more confident parent. “She always asks about my younger son, too. She cares for the three of us like a unit. As a 58-year-old single father, I’m grateful for that, more than she knows,” Nathan says. “I see this kind of care everywhere at Children’s National.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.