Sunday, April 21, 2013

What kids with Autism Spectrum can do.

My Tori has always been really afraid of crowds.  I couldn't take her to the supermarket when she was little, she would freak out at all of the sensory input there, and every Sunday was a huge struggle at Church because she was so frightened by the crowds.  Of course, we didn't know what the problem was, luckily she was our fourth child so we were so much more patient with her than the older kids!   She was diagnosed with developmental delays when she was almost 3, major speech delays and Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  It has only been in the past couple of years that we realized she had PDD-NOS on the Autism Spectrum, she was always "too friendly, too loving, too social to have autism."  So we all thought.  We are grateful for the continuing research into Autism that helps Tori and other children on the spectrum achieve to their capabilities.
    Anyway, Tori really works hard at things.  She never succeeded in giving a talk in Primary at Church her entire 11 years.  She couldn't do class presentations.  She would prepare and practice, then up in front of all those faces she had meltdowns.
    Well, look at her now---singing in front of a few hundred people at her school choir concert--singing a SOLO!  All of her teachers and therapists have a part of this, as well as Monika Tabor who was her choir teacher for her first 3 years at Laurin and helped her to believe in herself and overcome much of her fear of standing in front of crowds, the support and encouragement of Jana Hart her current choir teacher, and of course Tori's interim vocal coach ChristyAnne Ford.
And here is one with her speech therapist---Mrs. Nitsch has been Tori's speech therapist for a total of 7 years I believe, 3 in preschool, 4 in middle school---on the guitar, I love watching Tori's complete trust and appreciation for her in this song!
We are so grateful for all the people who have helped us to help Tori become the amazing young lady she is blossoming into!

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