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2023 Lansdowne Heroes Walk and Roll Ambassador
Madelyn and her twin sister Brooke were born healthy babies with no complications. You wouldn’t know by looking at them, but they are twins, born 10 minutes apart. They met all of their milestones as babies, rolling over, walking etc. It wasn’t until approximately 18-24 months old that their parents started to notice some strange behaviours and their development was starting to stall in certain areas. Both girls showed a delay in speech, having very little, to no communication, both verbally and non-verbally. They also lacked social skills, and they preferred to be by themselves or only with their parents. Their play was also delayed for their age; no pretend or imitation play. They also showing signs of stimming; arm flapping, repetitive head or finger movements, and tip-toe walking. The girls started at Lansdowne with the early integration program that would assist the girls while at daycare. With the help of their LCC support, daycare staff, and their pediatrician, both girls were referred to Dr. Klein for an official Autism diagnosis in The Spring of 2020. As soon as they received their Autism diagnosis, they gained access to a variety of resources from Lansdowne, starting with speech therapy and some occupational therapy. Even though Covid caused a province wide lockdown, putting a halt on services, Brooke and Madelyn were able to attend in center sessions when safely possible. Both girls progressed, and were able to express their wants and needs using non-verbal communication system called PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). Once the girls started kindergarten, they started in the ABA program at Lansdowne. Through this program, their progress really accelerated, and they have really excelled in many different areas. Madelyn, who was mostly non-verbal starting the program, is now having conversations, following instructions and answering questions. She will tolerate undesired activities and has learned other ways to direct her frustrations. Brooke is now able to communicate her wants and needs more consistently, both verbally and non-verbally. They have both learned to tolerate undesired activities, and learned skills to become more independent. Brooke and Madelyn have been able to participate in many recreation programs offered through Lansdowne such as March break camp, summer camp, community corner program& Saturday Socials program. They love going to these activities as it gives them a chance to explore new things at their own pace, making it a much more enjoyable experience. Their parents have also taken advantage of the Lansdowne Resource Centre, Autism Clinics, and Parent Events. Lansdowne has given the whole family all the resources they need. Whenever their parents have a question or concernarise, their Lansdowne team is always quick with tips, tricks, recommendations and willing to brain storm to come up with solutions that are geared to each child’s unique individual needs and interests. Both Madelyn and Brooke love coming to Lansdowne. You can often see them in the halls; Madelyn skipping with a basket of toys or Brooke with her beloved books in her hand.
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