Help Me Grow

My name is Kelly and I have a 2 year old daughter, Caitlyn, and she is autistic. Prior to when she was diagnosed with autism, everyone in my family, including me, was convinced she was deaf because of her lack of response to noise. She wouldn’t respond to her name either. Some of my family mentioned the possibility of autism, but I didn’t even want to consider it. As a parent, the thought of your child having a disability is unthinkable.

Caitlyn passed her hearing test, so my next step was to take her to see a Developmental Pediatrician. It was then that I heard the words that would forever change our lives. The doctor confirmed our fears, that Caitlyn is indeed autistic. Although she got the diagnosis, I didn’t want to believe it. Every part of me wanted to tell the doctor she was wrong. The only thing I could do was get a second opinion. Months later, we got a second opinion and it was the same. It was then that I fully accepted the diagnosis.

Help Me Grow has helped Caitlyn out so much. She has been able to go to therapy at “PACE” (Parent and Child Enrichment Program) 1-2 times a week. During her time in the program, Caitlyn has made improvements in imitating words and sounds, sitting at a table setting, and on her sensory issues. Those are just a few examples of her progress since she has been in the PACE program.

Working with an autistic child can be challenging when the communication is difficult. Caitlyn is learning more and more all the time. Going out to the park, or anywhere public isn’t always easy because she doesn’t understand “stop” or other commands. But as she continues therapy and I continue working with her, she is catching on to things.

Recently, Help Me Grow assisted me in getting Caitlyn a bed specifically for autistic children. It’s called the “Noah’s World Bed.” The bed is for Caitlyn’s safety at night, so she doesn’t roam around the house. Before getting the bed, we had many sleepless nights. Caitlyn would get out of her bed and want to play, and go in her sister’s room and my room, and wake us up. Some nights I had to sleep on the couch in case she woke up. Now we have the bed and Caitlyn loves it. She sleeps all night long. I can’t thank Help Me Grow enough for all their help.

Caitlyn has a big sister, Emileah, and they just love playing together in their own way. Emileah doesn’t understand autism, or why she and her sister can’t play normal. As a mom that’s difficult to see. Caitlyn has her own personality and own ways of communicating. She always puts a smile on my face and makes me laugh. Her sister Emileah is learning to cope with having a sibling with autism. Even though I know we have a long road ahead of us, I know that we will be fine. There is a lot of love and support in our family.

 

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