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A Little Ray of Sunshine


After noticing their daughter Rosie was struggling to meet the same milestones as her twin brother John, Allison and Colby Glaser decided she needed to see a developmental pediatrician when she was two. “Because she is a twin, you could see it when John was becoming more social and talking more each day,” says Allison. “We knew there was something up, so she had been going to speech therapy while we we waited to see the pediatrician. We hoped it was all going to just click, but then the doctor told us she had autism, and we knew we had to regroup and figure out a plan.”

The Glasers searched for a group to give their daughter the care she needed and finally landed at The Emerge Center. The parent training classes had the biggest impact, says Allison. “I am so glad I did them. I learned more about Rosie as a person and how she may be sensing the world,” she says.

Rosie was placed on several waiting lists for different programs encompassing the areas of speech therapy, ABA therapy, and occupational therapy. “The waiting was frustrating because every day or week that goes by when they’re little is important,” says Allison. “You know they need this, but so many other kids do, too, so you understand.”

Despite Rosie’s autism, she is a fun-loving, happy four-year-old who is the first to say hello, loves going to school, and enjoys trips to Target with her mom. “She is just a little ray of sunshine. If you’re in a bad mood and pick her up from school, it cheers you up,” says Allison. “She lets you appreciate the little things because she thinks the little things are amazing.”

As Rosie has begun to blossom, so has her relationship with John. Allison explains that Rosie used to play by herself, but since she has been working on her social skills and communication with John, they have enjoyed time together, playing chase and swimming. “He takes care of her and looks out for her,” says Allison. “He understands that she’s not developing like him, but he has learned to play with her.”

John knows playing with Rosie sometimes means playing by her rules and letting her take the reins. “It represents society in general learning how to interact and appreciate and go the extra mile to understand children with autism,” she says. “They just want to have fun and play games, but you just have to play with them a little differently.”

Allison acknowledges that parents’ patience and support are critical when raising a child with autism. She says that it can be frustrating sometimes, but you have to realize that not everyone understands your situation and you should work to inform them. “Sometimes it’s good just to address the issue,” says Allison. “You have to learn to handle yourself gracefully but also get support when you’re struggling. If I kept it all inside, I would go crazy. Reach out to anyone and don’t be embarrassed.”

The biggest advice Allison gives parents is to not look too far ahead. She says to take it day by day instead of worrying about what your child’s future holds. She explains, “You will do a lot of waiting and a lot of wondering. I like to write down my worries and then pick out what I can deal with that day. She comforts me when she does new things because I enjoy the tiny successes.”

Awareness and understanding are critical when it comes to children with autism. “Don’t think there’s anything wrong with these children,” says Allison. “They will lead beautiful and successful lives with the proper help. It just takes a little while to understand and see how they see the world.” ■

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01 Jul 2017


By Madeline Rathle
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