University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

The Dang Family

Boy jumping off bunk bed
"Grandma Thao is a second mom to the children, an 'alloparent.' She cooks and cares for the children."

Matthew is 8 years old and lives with his parents, his grandmother, and his two brothers and a sister. Matthew was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability when he was 3 years old.

He loves going to the park and going for rides, but he rarely plays with other children.

Matthew receives applied behavior analysis therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, but is still on the waiting list for community living supports.

Father and son on couchGrandmother looking at cameraFamily sitting on bench in the park