Since starting at specialist daycare in January, Ezra has grown into a proactive little boy who likes to participate. Ezra has learnt to cope better in busy environments and unfamiliar places and he now enjoys learning from each new experience.
Ezra is happy, confident and cheeky, he loves to perform and make people laugh. Much of his repetitive behaviour has been replaced by vibrant, imaginative play and his speech and other skills have greatly improved. These days, the good times far outweigh the bad.
Before starting at Autism Specific Early Learning Care Centre, Ezra was often very anxious, he became easily overwhelmed and was susceptible to violent meltdowns, usually several times a day. Ezra would scream and cry, throw his body around, hit, kick, throw things and sometimes self-harm by head-butting hard surfaces, biting or hitting himself. These meltdowns would last for up to an hour. Ezra was also hypersensitive to noise and felt threatened when surrounded by a group of peers or when unfamiliar children encroached upon his personal space. Ezra had trouble coping in crowded and noisy places and he rarely spoke around unfamiliar people. Ezra couldn’t articulate his emotions or what was upsetting him resulting in some negative experiences at his previous mainstream daycare. It was having a big impact on the family’s dynamic and prevented them from enjoying a lot of everyday outings.
Less than a year ago, a trip into the city didn’t end well. Ezra had been away from home for too long and became overwhelmed by everything around him. He threw himself out of the pram, onto the ground, screaming. He physically struggled with his mum, and even when back in the car, continued until arriving home.
Fast forward six months, the family’s outings into the city over the busy school holiday period showed us how much Ezra has progressed after a short amount of time at ASELCC. Ezra and his family enjoyed the sights and sounds of Winterfest in July. They went to theatre shows and, as usual, Ezra was keen to get up on stage and perform. He had a great time playing in a ball pit full of kids and wasn’t at all bothered by the noise or the other children getting close to him.
Ezra is getting very good at describing his emotions and expressing his needs. He is able to recognise when he needs a break by putting his head under his mums scarf and snuggling for a while to catch some downtime and recharge.
Ezra also enjoyed watching the buskers and even played the piano with one of them. When they went to look at a rainbow art installation, Ezra did an impromptu dance performance in front of the rainbow for a small audience. His mum wished she had put a hat on the ground!
Ezra has always been very musical, a talented interpretive dancer and performer. He performs evening theatre for his family every night and they intend to enrol him in dance classes very soon – something that seemed almost impossible a year ago.
Specialist daycare has been life-changing for this family and his mum is happy to say: “When I come to pick him up, he never wants to go home!”