Berkley is an 8 year old boy who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 3 years old. He is an amazing kid that made me laugh and smile while taking these photos. He greeted me quickly and kindly, and the next time he saw me he was sure to give me a high-five!
When Berkley was younger, he had delayed speech, didn't try to show his parents his toys or get their attention, but he loved to label shapes and colors and sing and hum songs. He didn't reach up to them to pick him up or answer to his name. Berkley had difficulty feeding, even with baby foods. He startled easily with certain noises, yet others he didn't flinch.
Berkley was in a in-home daycare and one day he wondered off when his daycare provider let go of his hand. The daycare also complained that Berkley wasn't doing things her same age children do and informed his parents she could no longer take care of him. His parents then sought out Right Track for a screening. Right Track referred them to Early Intervention, which led to BECEP. They applied for, and got on, the North Dakota Autism Waiver and now are on the DD (Developmental Disabilities) Waiver.
Berkley is a sweet, kind, and smart boy. He is sometimes oblivious to his surroundings, though. He is eager to greet people, yet struggles with conversation. He loves learning about the Presidents and can tell you their names, birthdates, when they were elected AND inaugurated. He can tell you when they died, how many terms and the years of the terms served, and what number President they are.
Berkley loves to run and tumble. He loves to jump and play catch. He is a great big brother to brother and sister, even though she guides him sometimes!
His Mom says this has been a long, hard and lonely journey, until recently, when she connected with other parents in similar circumstances. They have had their ups and downs with behaviors, treatment plans, waiver services, IEPS, and plateaus, but they grow everyday. Her boys have made her a better Mom and the world is better because of them.