When One Journey Ends, Another Begins

The birth of our beautiful twin girls, Grace and Patience, was quite a surprise. The girls were healthy and seemed to be developing at the same rate. Soon after they started crawling, Grace suddenly stopped her baby chatter, started rocking, flapping her hands and began to lose eye contact with us. We believed that she would outgrow it, but in reality, we knew something was wrong. After 6 long months Grace was diagnosed with autism.

At age two, we discovered The Learning Tree’s Little Tree Preschool in Mobile. Grace was able to attend with her twin sister since their focus was teaching children with autism alongside their typical peers. The teacher used a Picture Exchange Communication System with Grace to teach her to ask for what she wanted rather than pointing and grunting. This opened up a whole new world for her. At age three, she moved up to using a customized iPad which quickly expanded her world again. She used it to tell us her favorite foods, tv shows, what she had for lunch, and whether she was happy or sad. In two short years what she learned at the preschool would have taken us a lifetime to teach at home.

Grace graduated from the Preschool this past spring. Our experience has taught us that when one journey ends another begins. We are excited about the future again as Grace will now attend The Learning Tree’s Woody’s Song School. We can’t imagine where we would be without the help of The Learning Tree.

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By: Carson & Brandy Strickland