Amelia & Aryana’s Story
For children with autism, navigating the world around them can be a daunting challenge. This is especially true for five-year-old Amelia and three-year-old Aryana, sisters who both have autism spectrum disorder. The girls’ mom, Kaylee, struggled to watch her daughters live in a world where their needs were often overlooked.
“Imagine living in a world where sound, light and touch hurt. Imagine wanting someone you love to hold you, but you can’t express how they should hold you so it doesn’t hurt. Imagine the clothes you wear prickling your skin even though your mom tells you they are soft. Imagine knowing a multitude of words but not being able to express yourself in a way that others understand. These experiences are enough to make anyone feel frustrated, confused and sad,” said Kaylee.
Despite having the same diagnosis, Amelia and Aryana each have unique personalities and challenges that shaped their early childhood.
“Amelia did not talk very much but had an adorable flair of personality,” said Kaylee. “It was clear she had a lot to say but wasn’t able to communicate in a way others understood. As a result, she struggled with self-harm and anger that was overwhelming for both of us. She was desperately seeking ways to speak and communicate so she could connect with people.
“Aryana also did not speak much at all, only naming colors repetitively. Additionally, she refused all touch, was wary of new people, and struggled to connect with the world around her.”
To help her daughters navigate these challenging experiences, Kaylee knew she needed help for their unique needs. After their pediatrician at McFarland Clinic referred them to ChildServe’s Autism program, they discovered a whole team of experts ready to help the girls access the world around them.
Amelia and Aryana attend Autism Day Health throughout the week and utilize some of the other services available through ChildServe’s Autism program. Having all these services in one location allows parents to go to work while their children receive the care they need to thrive. Kaylee describes Autism Day Health as a structured environment designed for the comfort and success of kids with autism.
“The team in the Autism program reduces unnecessary stimuli while helping each unique child get used to different types of obstacles they may face. Their goal is to help the kids succeed in a world filled with environments and situations that are difficult for them,” said Kaylee.
Life changed drastically as the girls began reaching their goals.
“The resources ChildServe has given me to learn more about the world of autism helped me become a better parent,” said Kaylee. “They helped my children blossom into amazing little humans that have surpassed my expectations and dreams. The ChildServe team has given my children a life they would never have had otherwise.”
After three years at ChildServe, Amelia can communicate at her age level and be understood by her peers and adults. Likewise, after one year, Aryana can accept touch, play with her peers, accept new people, and communicate her needs.“
ChildServe has given Amelia and Aryana tools and coping mechanisms to learn how to adjust and function in a world that used to be crippling for them,” said Kaylee. “If that is not inspiring, I don’t know what is.”
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.