When my twins, Ballerina and Music Man, were diagnosed with “severe autism” in August 2009 at two-and-a-half, the entire world collapsed around me. “With that kind of diagnosis, how can they live full, independent lives?” I wondered. Then I realized that the future isn’t written in stone. We did what was suggested. Ballerina began ABA, Music Man began PT, and they took classes to help their development. We worked with speech pathologists, occupational therapists…and we hoped.
They are now five years old. They both talk. They are both potty trained. And in September, they will begin kindergarten. They’ll be with their peers, and Ballerina may even be in a typical classroom. And it’s likely that Music Man will be joining her after a year or two.
If someone had told me that we would be here in August, 2009, I wouldn’t have believed them. I would have feared they were filling me with false hope. But there is no such thing. And we are living proof that even a seemingly-catastrophic diagnosis doesn’t mean that it’s over. Just keep working!