Meet MaKenzie, this is her story.
MaKenzie was diagnosed with Autism at the early age of 18 months. She was always a quite baby, but often hummed and rocked throughout the day. As she grew, so did her humming and twitting movement. MaKenzie continued to hum throughout her indolence years, with no signs of speaking or sound. She was enrolled in Babies Can’t Wait; which provided: speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavior therapy.
By the age of three, she was enrolled in an inclusion class at a local school. A classroom that included typical children and children with exceptional learning differences. She spent 1/2 days at day care and 1/2 days in school. MaKenzie was taught with picture plixing, sign language, as well a voice box to participate in class. She has always loved humming, music and computers.
When Makenzie was 2 years old, her grandfather bought her a microphone with an amplifier. She was able to mimic sound and enjoyed hearing herself. By the age of 4, she spoke her first words to her dying grandfather. She spoke the words, “bye Papa”. Several months after, she began speaking. With early intervention, MaKenzie was speaking, singing, and excelling well above her grade level.
In Kindergarten, her teacher reported she was reading on a second-grade level. MaKenzie continues to excel. She loves music, computers and singing. As her mother, I believe without Early Intervention, Makenzie would not be thriving academically, and socially. She would still be a child who hummed and rocked 6-9 hours a day. The greatest love a child can be given, are parents who advocate for their well-being and don’t allow diagnosis to define their children.
Does MaKenzie still have Autism? Yes, but her diagnosis doesn’t determine her destiny in life.