Allow me to introduce my precious seven year old twins, Ben and Annie! Both of my children are on the Autism Spectrum. They were diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2 years old. At the time, the diagnosis filled me with fear. When I heard autism I immediately thought of what I knew from movies and media. I found that so hard to connect to my sweet kiddos. Yet, I realized my children had challenges. They did not make eye contact, speak, interact socially, play with toys, or seem to really connect with the world around them. I didn’t know how to reach my own children that broke my heart. Then, we found the VBCA. Right from the start we were welcomed into an atmosphere where we were not the “difficult” or “odd” family. The children were evaluated and began their ABA therapy. In the beginning, we were told some things we could expect for our children as they progressed in therapy. Hopeful, positive, “normal” things. I thought it was wonderful, but my heart wasn’t sure it could really happen. Now, it is three and a half years later. My children can speak to me in simple sentences. They can express emotions, play with me, hug me, laugh with me, enjoy outings with me, play with imagination, and they are mostly potty trained. They have learned to do basic academics. Most of all, I am now a big part of my children’s worlds. I no longer look at the autism as something I need to “fix” or “heal”. Rather, it is simply just a part of who my children are. They are perfect little kiddos, unique in their own ways. Over the years the therapists and consultants have literally become as close to us as family. They love and enjoy my children as much as I do! I have learned, right alongside my children, how to interact with them, help them, experience the world with them and help them overcome challenges. The VBCA unlocked my children so that we can experience all life has to offer together instead of side by side. I love my funny, energetic, free spirited daughter. I love my son who draws the most amazing pictures, loves to laugh, and loves to play. I am thankful for these special little ones God has entrusted to my husband and I. They are special in so many more ways than one!