This is my beautiful 11 year old daughter, Alexis. She is smart, funny, loving, and affectionate. She was a typical baby, developing milestones like any other child her age. At her 18 month checkup she had a series of vaccinations. Soon after, her development decreased and many of the skills she had learned up until that point had slowly went away. She no longer babbled words like momma or daddy. She stopped waving bye-bye. She stopped smiling, laughing, and imitating things as often as she once did. She became quiet and very content in her own little world. She started organizing things and putting them in rows. She started repetitive movements with her hands, and rocking back and forth.
At 22 months, Alexis was diagnosed with Autism. After several visits with specialists, hours spent with therapists, tests and evaluations, and starting school at age 3 1/2, Alexis has accomplished so much. I'm so proud of how far she's come while struggling with the everyday challenges she faces with Autism. She is non-verbal, but communicates her wants and needs through gestures and sign language. She loves to watch movies, listen to music, and swim. She loves anything that has to do with water, rocks and sand. She loves to be outside in the summer, swinging, playing or jumping on her trampoline. She has a typical 13 year old sister, named Katelyn. She has a wonderful aide at school named Lisa. I feel like Alexis was given to me for a reason and I am truly blessed and thankful to have her in my life and to be her mom. Lex is my baby girl. I love her with everything I have in me, and I wouldn't trade her for anything in this whole world.
Stephanie, mother of Alexis
Rose Hill, VA