With the help of Aspect's wonderful supporters, Chelsea has been able to receive life-changing early intervention therapy. Her parents and therapists are so proud of her progress and can't wait to see what comes next!
Four year old Chelsea is great at puzzles and craft and like many little girls her age, she loves to play babies with her dolls. For her parents Josh and Tammie, seeing Chelsea play is incredibly special. It shows them how far she has come in such a short time - and how bright the future now looks!
Chelsea has greatly benefited from Aspect's Early Intervention and Therapy program. In just two years, the changes have been amazing.
When Chelsea was diagnosed with autism, she had virtually no verbal communication or imaginary play skills. One of the teachers at her daycare was quite concerned that Chelsea wasn't doing things the other children could and suggested Tammie seek some advice.
After seeing a paediatrician, Aspect therapist Meaghan visited Chelsea at daycare to screen for signs of autism and they received an official diagnosis.
"In this situation I think parents can either sink or swim. Our family chose to swim!" says Tammie.
Chelsea is now receiving Aspect's early intervention therapy with some other children her age and Aspect speech therapist, Hibba, visits her at home each fortnight.
In the 15 months she's been seeing Hibba, Chelsea has improved from having a six word vocabulary and no play skills, to speaking in four and five word sentences and her happy, outgoing personality is shining through!
Chelsea has a wonderful imagination and loves princesses, superheroes and the movie Frozen. She's a little performer and enjoys singing and dancing to different music and TV shows.
Her social interaction has also improved greatly - she plays well with other children and loves having visitors around to the house.
As well as providing support for Chelsea, Josh and Tammie have benefited enormously from Aspect's programs. They've attended workshops to learn about autism and how to use different techniques and strategies with Chelsea at home.
"Aspect staff have been amazing - they've taught us so much about autism. The uncertainty and hopelessness we felt at the beginning has disappeared and we feel like we can be better parents to Chelsea," says Tammie.
While Chelsea still has her challenges, like sensory overload in shopping centres and other busy places, the vital therapy Chelsea has received really is paving the way for a happy and successful future.
"We have no limitations for Chelsea," says Tammie. "Josh and I want her to have her own voice, to live a fulfilling and independent life surrounded by kind people."
Chelsea's a little superhero and it certainly looks like she will go on to achieve that!