The Faces of Autism: Meet Sophia G.
Meet Sophia, a smart, adorable 4 year old girl diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. You may recognize her from last year's Faces of Autism project. If you would like a refresher you can click HERE.
Sophia was diagnosed at 3.5 years old with Autism. She had overall delays, didn't play with toys, wasn't hitting milestones, and did not show show emotions on her face. When she was around 15 months old, she also started having aggressive behaviors and became non-verbal.
Sophia is starting to play with peers rather than just next to them, although she still needs a little prompting, this is a huge accomplishment! She has begun using some imaginative play and has joined a dance class. Her aggressive behaviors have subsided and she is starting to pick up on some emotions. She has started asking questions and has over all become more verbal, using full sentences versus the two word utterances she had last year.
Sophia has learned how to put in her own ponytail, but struggles with basic skills such as letters, numbers, and counting. She has learned her colors and most of her shapes! She also has been discharged from PT (Physical Therapy) and OT (Occupational Therapy)!
From her parents:
"Having a child with Autism brings many, many emotions. Being a parent of a special needs child is far different from any other parenting, it's exhausting, frustrating, rewarding. Sometimes it's hard to see all the positive when there can be so much negative but, most of all, it's the greatest gift as it has taught us so many things and without all that we wouldn't have our beautiful blessing Sophia Rose."
If you suspect your child may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are great supports in the community. One of my favorites is BisMan Autism Families on Facebook. Also, you can use this online MCHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) to assess your child's risk.
Please feel free to share Sophia's story to help spread Autism Awareness and Acceptance.