Alexandre is a happy nine year old boy with limited communication skills, but he used to be non verbal. At two years old, he attended his annual check up with our family doctor. He has regressed completely in his speech, and he would spin everything. Our doctor sent a referral to a paediatrician to assess Alexandre and determine if he would need to go to the developmental clinic. I was pregnant with our second child and obviously had heightened emotions.
We met with the paediatrician who said she felt Alexandre has autism and set up an appointment with the developmental clinic. We were greeted by a team of caring women that were experts in their field. I didn't think they knew anything! I hated them, because they diagnosed my perfect boy with autism. What did this mean? I was flooded with questions like, will he be okay? Am I going to love him the same? Ridiculous, I know. It was July of 2010, he was 2 years 7 months old, all I wanted was to be able to talk to my boy and hear him say Mommy.
We began our appointments with Stepping Stones rather quickly, and I immediately felt welcome and validated. They didn't seem surprised or concerned about any details I shared. When he became obsessed with doors and eloped from our apartment in the middle of the night, the team flocked like superheroes to determine how to address this so that he remains safe. No obstacle was too big for them to handle. Our team stuck together almost the entire time Alexandre attended Stepping Stones. We were so fortunate to have a team that understood him, his family and what his needs would be in school. He attended for nearly three years, and had his amazing ASW the entire time.
When the time came for kindergarten, the team came with me to the transition meeting. They answered questions and they also prompted me to bring up some questions like transportation. I was terrified, but they assured me our boy was ready. When school time came, his ASW transitioned with him, providing tips and tricks to the teachers and EA's.
Alexandre is almost nine years old now. He is in Grade three and loves going to school. He is still happy, and he is perfectly him. Stepping Stones gave us the knowledge to help our son excel and the opportunity to see things through a different, yet perfectly beautiful perpective...his.