A team for AUTISM SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA
A team for AUTISM SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA
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"Team Butterfly" a team to help the AUTISM SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA...
STEP FOR HOPE
Our story with autism began when my twin girls were 15 months old. Up to that age, they were growing like weeds and hitting every developmental milestone. But something changed at 15 months. We noticed Jaydin was not responding to her name and starring off into space. The change seemed almost drastic, visible, obvious. We knew something was wrong. We visited the pediatrician and due to "twin circumstances" we waited, watched and worried. As she matured, she stopped hitting milestones developmentally, and instead of sitting around waiting for a miracle, we took action. As terrified as I was at the reality that was happening, I reached out to West Suburban Intervention. And our new journey began. At the age of 2, Jaydin, was thrown into countless therapy sessions and hospital tests to rule out seizures and strokes. Between private therapy, school therapy, horse riding therapy(hippo), swimming therapy, she has been through the ringer. BUT without these services, Jaydin and our family would be lost in an unknown world. And after a couple years we decided it was time to instruct our Neuropsychologist to finally follow through with the autism diagnosis. We were scared about the labeling but understood that it was in her best interest. Services are very costly and after a few years of out of pocket, we went full force at our insurance company to cover all her therapies. Insurance coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a very gray and shaded benefit. As we continue our journey down this path, we've learned many valuable strategies on how to help, guide and encourage Jaydin. She continues to amaze us. We have been truely blessed with the most amazing teachers; autism specialist, special education, preschool & kindergarten, therapists; speech pathologists, occupational & physical, doctors and specialist; Pediatrician, Neuropsychologist, Neurologist, specialty Dentist, ENT and Surgeons. Jaydin has come along way and she has a long way to go. I'd like to share with you a couple facts about Jaydin; she did not start talking until she was 4, up to that point we used a communication protocal called PECS and sign language and many other communication tools. The first time she threw a ball was on the back of her favorite therapy horse, Ruger, she has numerous stuffed horses named, Ruger, cousin Ruger, etc. Riding calms her senses and increases her ability to be flexible and focused. Swimming therapy has been fantastic for her muscle tone. Speech and OT therapy are ongoing through private services and Minnetonka schools. Jaydin also has a sensory processing disorder, which is a challenge come meals. Our private OT therapist worked for hard with Jaydin to introduce a range of food textures and smells. We were advised that a gluten free diet was not necessary with her diagnosis, which is PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delay-not other specified). For specifiic spectrum disorders, there has been great success with gluten free diets. Jaydin has an incredible sense of humor and cantagious giggle. We don't take her milestones for granted, we celebrate them, we celebrate her. Some days are fantastic and some days are such a challenge that I have to remind myself to step back and breath.
Jaydins twin sister, Adison, has become more curious as to why Jaydin is the way she is. So we are taking baby steps to explain what autism means and what it does not mean. The girls are 6 years old now and in kindergarten. They are in seperate classes and I worry about bullying and teasing. Thankfully our schools have a very strong antibullying stance. Our teachers work very hard with the special ed team and autism specialst to educate all the children about difference in everyone. Early Intervention is crucial and I'm proud to have taken action, because without it, I do not know where Jaydin would be developmentally. What I do know, is that, because of early intervention, she is mainstreamed into a normal classroom with her peers and she loves school. Jaydin is a fighter and she owns her world, we are just so blessed to be a part of her world. I love you peanut butter!
If I can help you better understand what autism is and what it is not, than we are one step of hope closer to stripping away the stigma that has been placed on autism spectrum disorders. Instead of starring at another child for behavior you are uncomfortable with, be proactive, educate yourself, learn what it is and what it is not. Autism is all around us. Show compassion, humanity and kindness. It is a far greater skill to understand than to pass judgement.
With the help of the internet and provided by the CDC, I've inserted a couple statistics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
*About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
* ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).
More research is needed to protect our children with autism spectrum disorders. With your donation, you are one Step of Hope closer to helping us put together the missing pieces for our children. Please consider donating to TEAM BUTTERFLY!
You can find out more on autism by visiting the CDC site:
Many blessing to you,
Bill,Lisa,Jaydin and Adison Rothschild