Another Child Home: Amelie

Amelie's mother shares the joys of parenting a driven young girl with Autism in 2011- Amelie arrived home from Haiti in late November of 2008. She had just turned five. Amelie has autism and global delays. She was, at that time, nonverbal and lacked potty training. Today, Amelie tells knock knock jokes. She is 100% potty trained and just brought home a finger puppet which she drew and cut using special scissors. She can count up to ten objects, knows her alphabet by sight and sound, plays Connect Four with peers from her mainstreamed first grade class at school, and understands concepts such as up, down, in, out, front, and back. She shows concern for other people, can sit through a movie, enjoys restaurants, malls, and can pass through crowds without becoming overwhelmed. She can dress herself and is trying to tie her own laces. She rides a Big Wheel like a pro.

Amelie attends a wonderful new, challenging, and innovative program at her public school and is taught by a specialist in Autism. Amelie loves this school so much that she runs to the bus each morning singing, and cries as she watches the bus leave for the day. She is eager to learn. She wants to do small chores such as stirring a bowl or drying plastic cups. Singing is a part of her heart and soul, and she sings often and on key. She will have all the people on the school bus singing.

Every day is a miracle with Amelie. She is determined to succeed. Her biggest challenge is her speech. When she is finally able to pronounce every sound clearly, there will be no stopping her. Her future is so bright!

Never for a second did we think that progress would be limited for her at five. We kept expectations high, and she has met each one in time. We keep adding small challenges. She receives tons of praise and hugs. She is very affectionate. We tried the casein-free, gluten-free diet, but discovered that it really didn't make a difference for her. Her appetite is hearty, and she now is able to eat and chew anything.