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When we received Cecilia’s diagnosis of being autistic we were heartbroken. We had already heard those words spoken to us before, about our oldest child. We have been navigating the world of parenting an autistic child and hearing that we were to do it again was devastating. Our oldest was a late diagnosis and already in the school system, all we knew was little to no support and a lack of resources. The future was daunting.

Cecilia’s journey began at age 2 and Stepping Stones held our hand the entire way. I was apprehensive leaving Cecilia in the beginning knowing how difficult she could be and with being nonverbal, would the staff understand her needs?

Within days my anxiety dissipated. The constant communication, the weekly written reports, the team meetings to help us understand her progress, her challenges and the program designed to help her development have made me hopeful for Cecilia’s future. Through Stepping Stones her language has developed, we learn weekly about the little girl who was trying to reach out. She is funny and a bit sarcastic. She enjoys finding ways to make people laugh. Her imagination is growing by leaps and bounds. She can articulate her fears and worries.

We have seen consistent growth and development, we have experienced a couple steps backwards but these were immediately identified by the staff and those areas were revisited until mastered.

The staff has taken the time to understand our family, understand our worries and concerns. Cecili is now 4 and her journey is far from over. Thanks to Stepping Stones we are no longer alone, we have the support and the resources that our child needs.

- Carla Bagley