Just like any other teenager, those with Autism get excited about Christmas. But they also face some unique challenges. For some, excessive lights and sounds cause a tremendous amount of stress. For others, these things seem to do the opposite. It depends on several things, including the individual, where on the spectrum of Autism the child lands, and how he or she is doing on any given day.
Another thing about Autism is that some kids have a good vocabulary while others don’t talk at all. That was the case with one 13-year-old girl from Mulberry, Florida. Kaitlyn De Jesus was first diagnosed with Autism at the age of three.
Marisabel Figuero Lopez, Kaitlyn’s mother, refused to accept what the neurologist told her.
Yes, she knew her daughter had Autism. But what she refused to accept was the neurologist telling her that her child would be nonverbal her entire life. In other words, she would never have the chance to hear her daughter speak. Marisabel made up her mind then and there that she would do everything in her power to help Kaitlyn in any way she could.The Western Journal Source: The Western Journal
Kaitlyn did improve thanks to her mother’s dedication and hard work.
Using various tools and resources, Marisabel went to work. Through a labor of love, her daughter was eventually able to speak using visual prompts. But from the time she was diagnosed with Autism until this Christmas, she was only able to put two or three words together.Today Source: Today
People flock to see Don Weaver’s Christmas light show.
Each year since 2007, Don Weaver has put on a spectacular Christmas light show. Using every inch of his front yard, he creates magic using over 200,000 twinkling lights and other decorations. The lights blink in synchronization with Christmas music playing in the background. It’s truly a sight to see.Facebook/Don Weaver Source: Facebook/Don Weaver
This year would be different — a miracle would happen.
On a daily basis, Kaitlyn visits the attraction, often staying for hours at a time. As they had for many years, Marisabel and her daughter went outside around 6:00 p.m. to watch the beautiful display. But this year, something different happened…a miracle. It started when Marisabel placed a special chair on the driveway for her daughter to sit in.Facebook/Don Weaver Source: Facebook/Don Weaver
Kaitlyn immediately began tapping her feet and dancing in her chair.
Then it happened, seemingly out of nowhere. As the Christmas music played, the teen stood up and began to sing. But that wasn’t all…she was making observations, something she’d never done before. As Marisabel said, “I’m still crying about it.”Facebook/Don Weaver Source: Facebook/Don Weaver
These weren’t two or three words but full sentences.
Looking directly at her mom and then the holiday lights and decorations, Kaitlyn said, “Mom! Look at the blue lights. Look at the snowmen. Santa’s coming.” Not only was her mom stunned at what had just happened but also Don Weaver and various neighbors who had all come to enjoy the festivities. Don explained, “It was the first time she ever talked.”Facebook/Don Weaver Source: Facebook/Don Weaver
The usually quiet and shy teenager from Florida had just done something that neurologists said wouldn’t happen…she spoke. Her mom went on to say, “At Mr. Weaver’s house, she comes to life. She’s like this whole new entity. If only Christmas could be around all year.” Regardless, this was a miracle. It gives hope to Marisabel that even more miracles are to come.
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A video from last night! The weather was great and we loved that a lot of our neighbors decorated too! Please come see all of the holiday cheer this year! Happy Holidays!
Posted by Don Weaver on Sunday, December 8, 2019