Grayson was 2 years old when I noticed that he wasn't talking as well as other kids his age. After a few months of trying to figure out what to do to help him, we received speech therapy at the Regional Hospital. We went every two weeks for 5 months and I didn't think it was helping at all. When he was 3, that's when we received the diagnosis of autism. At first, I didn't know what to think. I was scared and worried that he wouldn't do good in school or have any friends because he kept to himself. He didn't want anyone playing with him and that's hard in our house because he has 3 older siblings. We couldn't understand a single thing he tried to tell us and not only did that frustrate me, his father and his siblings, but it also frustrated him. He didn't like being spoken to or told do things unless it was on his terms, on his time. I also couldn't figure out why he'd have tantrums and not be able to settle him down. After the autism diagnosis,
I went on the internet and spent hours reading story after story of children with autism and I learned that these outbursts and tantrums were not his fault. I came across a couple of articles about SPD, sensory processing disorder, talked to his doctor about it and after a while, I finally understood what was going on with my son, although obviously there is still lots to learn. When we went back to the Doctor who diagnosed Grayson, he told me about this place called Stepping Stones and that he'd be starting by the end of the year, not knowing that it was only going to be 3 weeks later! In July of 2016, Grayson started Stepping Stones, went in hardly talking, not potty trained at all and very quiet. Only 3 months later, he's talking in 3 - 4 word sentences, 100% potty trained, he's come out of his shell and opening up and loves playing with other kids. He also knows his numbers from 1 to 4, he knows some colors and even points them out while we're driving, he even has just started saying his name! I can honestly say that I was a little hesitant to send him to Stepping Stones because when we were being assessed before he started, it seemed like a very busy and hectic place, but after the first week, all that vanished and I am so happy that he is there. The look on his face every day when I go to pick him up, the way he runs to his workers and gives them high-fives, the hugs, and the smiles, says it all. He's always talking about school and I always hear stories about him playing with his friends and going down the slide. He's come such a long way in such a short time since he's been at Stepping Stones and I couldn't imagine where he'd be in his development if it wasn't for the people at Stepping Stones.
- Tracey Tremblay