Exceeding the Limits

Annabelle – Exceeding the Limits


May I tell you a little something about my daughter, Annabelle?

She’s an absolute dynamo of a 6 year old packed into a 40 pound body. She was born 10 weeks early weighing only 2 pounds and spent the first 2 months of her life in the NICU. By the time she was 18 months old, she had undergone three surgeries, including one to repair a hole in her heart. She started walking at 2 years old and has not stopped moving or climbing since. On her 5th birthday, her formal Autism diagnosis was confirmed.

She is a kiddo who comes alive outside. She swims like a frog for hours a day. She climbs trees barefoot and catches bees out of midair. She likes the feeling of her feet in the grass, the sensation of the breeze in her hair, and the sound of the birds around her. Her smile is pure joy. Annabelle is tiny but does everything big. Big laughs. Big messes. đŸ™‚

When we recently moved to a new home, we no longer had a secure barrier in the front yard to keep her safe. The yard opens directly onto a well-traveled street and the neighborhood is very close to a major highway interchange. In order to meet her sensory needs, it’s vital that Annabelle can play, explore, move freely, and interact with her environment.

We reached out to Avenues for Autism, and through the generosity of the Suzanne Tyner Autism Fund, we were gifted with funds to help build a custom perimeter fence with gates to keep our yard secure.

As a parent of an Autistic child, I often feel frightened for her. The level of Annabelle’s curiosity, creativity, and need for input can lead to unpredictability, impulsivity, and a lack of safety awareness. The Suzanne Tyner Autism Fund helped make this mom feel safe. And when a mother feels that she and her children are safe, she can be more present to parent with the depths of love, grace, and patience that her children deserve.

Thank you, Avenues for Autism. You’ve made a great first summer in our new home possible!

Story by Gwenn (Annabelle’s Mom)