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Abbey facing forward, smiling with long wavy gold hair.

Abbey was mainstreamed until second grade, then moved to an autism school. She attended a vocational program after high school to learn job skills. In a textiles program, she started learning to use a loom to make scarves and hats. But once she graduated, she couldn’t seem to take that skill and apply it to life. So, with a determined mother and the most AMAZING teacher on the planet, Ms. Carol, they figured it out. 

Ms. Carol, who had retired, came to Abbey’s home in her spare time to teach her how to make hats on a hand loom. Abbey’s mom, Christine, hoped Abbey would find a sense of purpose and accomplishment from this manageable hat business. With Ms. Carol’s help, that dream became a reality. Family and friends began to support Abbey with hat purchases, and the rest is history. 

We are grateful to all those who have supported Abbey: our Dixie Canyon Elementary group, the girls from the card game, the community, friends from mom’s high school, extended family, and now some new faces – it certainly takes a village! So, thanks to the Village that helped us get here!

From Abbey’s Mom

I think it is essential to know where an individual started in the autism journey to understand the personal story behind it. The term ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is now used to describe such a vast array of abilities and struggles. Abbey was diagnosed at 2.5 years old with obvious difficulties in navigating the world and socially integrating with peers. She was isolated and alone with limited conversational language. She had words, but was not connected to the meaning. It was as if other children didn’t exist. She couldn’t attend pre-school without an aide. At age 4, she spent 13 weeks at the UCLA Neuro Psych Institute being evaluated and creating a plan for her education. She was partially mainstreamed until age 7 and then went to an autism school as the mainstreaming did not work.

With 22 years of interventions, including individual and small group speech, OT, Music, Adaptive PE, RDI, PRT, ABA, and a targeted program for Abbey’s deficit areas, she has emerged as a confident, capable, life-loving adult who inspires those around her.

We have a saying at our house that we still use almost every day:

“The more you practice, the easier it gets!”

Abbey's mom standing confidently in a hat made by Abbey, glancing up towards her.