Taiga is 4 years old and has autism. It has been a challenge for him and his family; however he has made some amazing progress over the years. I have been his nanny for the past year and before that I was his teacher in preschool. When I first met Taiga I was immediately drawn to him. I did not know he had autism or what autism was. As we got to know each other he inspired me to get a graduate degree in occupational therapy to help other kiddos like him. When I first started with him I noticed that he was very concerned about getting his hands dirty. He hated any changes in his transitional day, and often times got upset by things he wasn’t use to.
As time went on Taiga’s therapist, parents and other friends strove to help Taiga understand his environment and succeed in life by overcoming certain obstacles. There are still problems in Taiga’s life, but he’s now able to sit down, listen and understand other people. He is now excited about change and although it is still hard for him, he understands a lot better and wants to learn. This was all due to an incredible group of people who used early intervention therapy, love, acceptance and encouragement to help Taiga transform into an always-happy, spunky little boy who is eager to learn.
I have full confidence that Taiga will succeed in life. No one can overcome autism, and no one can cure it. However, all it takes is an encouraging environment and an incredible support system full of love for a child to teach themselves to overcome their own obstacles.
Here’s a video of Taiga and me making a pizza, something that one year ago he would never have been able to do.