Young and Autistic

Author Natalia Brzezinska

Where do I begin… so my daughter, diagnosed with autism before her 2nd birthday, had a very hard time figuring out the world around her. It led to a lot of frustration and screaming. Ella is non-verbal. Our therapy mainly focused on expanding ways to play. Sounds odd, right?

Well this little sunshine could memorize Lego duplo structures built days before and was getting frustrated when I was building them differently… We were trying to teach her it’s ok to build different things, mix toys etc… we worked on going outside like shops, playgrounds (major issue). Never even once I thought about educational stuff. She was too young and didn’t need to know that kind of stuff.

Well, it turns out she could put alphabet in a-to-z and z-to-a order in No time! (Age 2.5) Same with numbers up to 50… we found out by accident. it got me thinking… few weeks later I took out shapes and colours(laminated pictures). Asked: show me…. Red , circle, etc. She knew them all.

Spoke to behavioural therapist about that and some time after that we put the pictures in front of her to see how much she knows… and again… Show me happy, sad (knew all emotions) we did professions ( she didn’t know mechanic and vet, rest she did). I could just go on..

She was watching myself and older brother during his therapy…

It really opened my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty to work on but we focus on things that make life a bit easier for her since she is still non-verbal or maybe pre-verbal at this point. I truly believe that kids should be kids at this age, play in the mud, dance, build structures, colour. They don’t need to know the alphabet at the age of 3 or 4. The time will come. But since she likes it that much, and order of some sort makes her happy, then Alphabet it is! Yes, we use alphabet or logic games as a treat!

We also got her an electronic device. She got it in No time. She can tell us what she wants to eat (doesn’t even forget her “please” button at the end), if it’s too much and wants to go to the car if we are out

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