A Project Celebrating Differences and Triumphs
Chase is Beautifully Different
I am so honored today to tell you Chase’s story. He is a beautiful little 6 year old boy, with severe Autism. Chase is non-verbal, he also has intellectual disability, sensory processing disorder, OCD, and Pica. Pica is a psychological disorder characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive. (i.e ice, paper, soil) Chase has had quite a few hospital stays in his short little life, He has had an Adenoidectomy (twice), tubes in his ears (twice), and a tonsillectomy. Chase is amazing, and he is Beautifully Different!
Chase was diagnosed with Autism around 6 months old. Up til then, he had developed typically. Somewhere around the 6th month mark, he stopped all eye contact and started flapping his hands and legs – the entire day. He would flap and stim (Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement.) from the moment he woke until the moment he went to bed. After a few months of hearing – why does he do that? his Mom realized it was time to take him to the pediatrician and discuss it. The word Autism was brought up, and her heart shattered. After the heartbreak, Chase’s family rolled up their sleeves and have been fighting ever since. The additional diagnoses followed his 3rd, 4th and 5th year. Chase was regressing and becoming more severe. That only meant they had to work harder.
Everyday life for Chase is a little different than a typical 6 year old. Chase attends a special needs school and receives in home Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. A trip outside of the home takes for Chase and his Family requires planning and consideration to his needs. They can’t just run an errand, or stop and grab something to eat. Chase is sensitive to light, sound, crowds and waiting is a challenge for him, from stop lights to lines in a grocery store. His Mom and Dad make sure that their home is rather empty as his Pica causes him to eat non-edible items such as plants, wires, wood, plastics, etc. His home is safe, and a place he can be himself and be happy! (and happy he is!)
Perfect. Innocent. Loving.
Chase has an unspoken power. His soul is pure and kind and when he looks at someone, they feel special and fall in love instantly. He was meant to change the world. Chase was meant to show that love needs no words and that being different can be absolutely beautiful. In his Mom’s words- “His smile LIGHTS up rooms, our hearts and without a doubt, is the most beautiful gift I have ever been given.”
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