What makes a child who used to cry in frustration beam with joy?
The opportunities you've given her.
It’s hard to know if Ava was happy as a very young child. She didn’t laugh or talk much. She didn’t interact with her family or with other children. She didn’t play with her toys.
She didn’t express joy.
As she missed more and more developmental milestones, her parents Shannen and Jamie began to worry. To add to their concerns, things were not going well at Ava’s daycare. She wasn’t participating in activities and would often get so overwhelmed she would be inconsolable. As other children were forming friendships, gaining new skills and learning new words, Ava was being left behind.
Ava was missing out on the chance to develop these vital skills, simply because she was in an educational framework that didn’t suit her needs or recognise her strengths. Whenever Ava felt overwhelmed by what was happening, she was prone to having meltdowns.
“When Ava would have a meltdown she would seclude herself, shut down and start biting her fingers. This would happen if she didn’t understand something, if she didn’t want to do something, or if she was trying to express herself and we didn’t understand,” said Shannen.
That all changed, when Ava started at her Aspect School.
When Ava arrived at her Aspect School, she could only say a few words and often spoke in her own made up language, she couldn’t hold a pencil and she didn’t engage with other students.
How our Aspect Schools are tailored to suit children living on the autism spectrum.
Ava’s teachers used visual aids, sensory tools and autism-specific strategies, such as social stories and evidence-based programs to help Ava build new skills and adapt to the world around her.
Less than a year later, Ava has started reading, writing and drawing, initiating interaction with other children and engaging in lessons. She now understands social cues and has enough language to express her wants and needs.
“Since Aspect, she rarely has ‘meltdowns’ or ‘shutdowns’”, Shannen said. “She has changed dramatically, has come out of her shell and her personality just shines so bright! All her friends and family are just amazed by the progression.”
With one-on-one support in small classes and structured goals tailored to Ava’s needs, she is continuing to build on her skills, learn strategies for regulating emotions and techniques to cope with sensory challenges.
Support us in providing life changing help to children like Ava.
Each year, nearly 2,000 families reach out to Aspect in urgent need of support for their child. As the demand for our services continues to grow, our resources are becoming more stretched and we simply cannot help all of the children who need us.
With a gift today you can help children like Ava develop the academic, social and life skills they need to build a life filled with joy and possibilities. Please give now to ensure children like Ava don’t get left behind.