Written By: Erin C (Liam’s Mother)
Hello everyone! My name is Liam but my family and friends call me, Li Li. I am 5 years old. I was born just one minute after my twin brother Kellan. Grownups use very big words to describe the challenges I face, but I know that from my perspective, I am a happy boy who loves my family and my therapists. Although I cannot speak yet, my therapists at ABC are working with me daily to help me to communicate my thoughts in other ways. I am making progress that my parents and grandparents can see every day.
I smile easily and I hug warmly. These are just a few of the ways that I show my family and therapists that I love them while I cannot yet use the words “I love you.” My family understands that I communicate differently than they do, and they are working hard to learn my language while I work hard to learn theirs.
Before I came to ABC, I didn’t understand how to tell people what I wanted or needed. At ABC I am learning to use my hands to do sign language. This makes it easier for me to communicate when I want something to eat or to play with a certain toy. I am now learning so many new things at ABC that my family is having a hard time keeping up with all of the new words I can say!
I used to bite frequently to let grownups know if I was upset, frustrated, or if I couldn’t tell them what I wanted. Learning how to sign has taught me that I don’t need to bite anymore in order to communicate what I’m feeling.
I used to prefer to play alone but since coming to ABC, I have learned that playing with others can be just as much fun. I like to watch how my classmates do things and then I will try to do it too. I also enjoy the time that I spend with my brother. He’s always there to drive me around in his motorized car or to help me use a new toy. We love to play games where I chase him. When I catch him, we laugh together. ABC helped make that possible.
I can spend a lot of time playing with a toy that lights up and makes sounds. I learn how it works and like that I can control the action. I also like to climb and have mastered the perfect somersault!
I also love listening to music or my family singing. I will sit quietly and listen intently to any number of songs. Music is my happy place and it helps me to develop imitation skills. I am very good at imitating sounds. My therapists at ABC are helping me learn new sounds every day and our hope is that this will one day allow me to express myself with words.
I am very comfortable at ABC and with my therapists. I understand what they ask me to do and am quickly learning how to respond. They are very patient and their encouragement makes me want to try hard for them.
These may not be my words, but they are certainly my thoughts.
After coming to ABC, Liam now responds to his own name.
Liam can now communicate his needs via sign language modified to his skill level.
His outward aggressions have decreased significantly.
He is now able to imitate both vocally and physically.
Through our occupational therapy program, he is now able to walk upright with limited assistance.
He is now able to follow basic directions.
Liam has successfully transitioned his newly acquired skills into a home setting.
He has developed important social and play skills that allow him to interact with peers.
His independent play skills have drastically improved.
Liam has mastered the use of utensils to feed himself.