Nate & Noah's Story
As parents you always have that feeling when something just isn't right. It's never an easy thing to accept, mild or severe...nobody wants to see their child struggle. Everyone had told us how normal it was for twins not to speak until later in life......that they have their own language. So many friends and family wanted to make us feel like it was all normal behaviour for twins, but sadly the boys didn't understand how to communicate to each other, and definitely not with other children. The had never asked us a question. No "why's? what's that? where's?" And as much love as they show us every day, they could only nod their head when we told them we loved them. Our lives became structured around every little thing having to be a certain way to try avoid meltdowns. And when the meltdowns happened we would just sit down and try to comfort them hoping we could figure out how to make it better. They couldn't tell us. So when the diagnosis came for Nate and Noah, my husband and I were not surprised. We had done a ton of reading, trying to understand what autism really meant for our boys. And the answer we kept coming up with is that they were going to need some help to do the things that came easily to other children. And that's where Stepping Stones came in to the picture. After a full day of assessments at the regional, the team including our amazing paediatrician wasted no time setting things up for us to get the ball rolling. After several meetings with the staff at Stepping Stones they tailored programs specifically for each boy to meet their needs. I won't lie, I was terrified, so was my husband.
Thankfully our fears were put to rest very quickly. The boys started adjusting to their new programs, they were loving all the play based learning and new exciting games that were waiting for them every morning. We started noticing changes with the boys, adding new words, trying to push out longer sentences. And the big day came not long ago, when Nate looked right at his brother and said "come play Noah" and Noah responded back and said "okay". This was the first time I had actually seen a conversation between them, aside from chasing each other and giggling, they had never tried to talk to each other or requested anything verbally. It was such a huge moment. I called my husband in tears because I know that things were changing. This was our moment. And we've only seen improvement since then. We are thankful everyday for the people at Stepping Stones who dedicate their lives to helping our boys. We only see success in their future and you are the foundation that it's starting with.
- Jessie Kirkbride