“Kaitlyn has a smile that melts a person's heart…” said Joanna, a speech language pathologist at Rainbows United.
Kaitlyn started speech therapy when she was two years old through Infant/Toddler Services from Rainbows’ Bright Beginnings in Butler County. When she was three, she started receiving services through the school district but was able to use Rainbows for Targeted Case Management. “I chose Rainbows again because we like using them and because we liked everyone with met with Infant/Toddler Services,” said Kaitlyn’s mom, Deborah.
Kaitlyn is limited in her speech and communicating is the biggest issue. “When we met Kaitlyn, she cried to have her needs met every day… She didn't know what else to do,” said Joanna, speech language pathologist. “Through specific techniques and imitation, Kaitlyn has developed in every domain.” To help her make progress, Kaitlyn’s family works with her constantly. “Kaitlyn's family has been actively involved in spending time with her to help her learn… in everyday situations and sit-down structured activities. They have incorporated modeling words so well into their day and evening, that it has become second nature to them,” said Joanna.
Some days can be discouraging for Deborah and her family, she explained "Some days she doesn't say any words." Although communicating is the major challenge, her mother is optimistic about her progress with motor skills. Just recently Kaitlyn has been able to walk down the stairs by herself. She has also started eating with a spoon and her mother expects that she will be able to walk up stairs independently, soon.
Kaitlyn is very loving. “I don’t think many people think that autistic kids can be that way because they look away and don’t make eye contact, but she is sweet, affectionate, and loving,” said Deborah. Kaitlyn has two siblings. This summer she went to the water park at the YMCA and really enjoyed kicking and splashing in the water.
Bright Beginnings in Butler County receives funding from the United Way of El Dorado.