30 Faces of Autism – Day 27 | Dunkirk Family Photography | Autism Awareness

Only about 20% of those on the autism spectrum are girls, though it is speculated that there are many more girls on the spectrum than are diagnosed. Girls present a unique set of challenges, which can make diagnosing them more difficult. They typically have a faster rate of learning social skills than boys, but may still need to be directly taught certain skills. Girls are more likely to want to fit in and mimic others in social situations that they often are able to mask their social challenges. Because girls present autism so differently than boys, often times parents, teachers and even pediatricians will pass off the symptoms as being ‘fine’.

Maddie is 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. She has cat named Covey, a 4-year-old brother, Zack, and two older siblings, Katie and Matt. She also had a little sister, Avery, who was Zack’s twin sister but she passed away. Maddie was diagnosed with autism when she was 3 years old.

Maddie loves shopkins. She’s good at math and making her mommy laugh. She likes to play at the park, play with her friends, ride her scooter, go to Great Wolf Lodge and wants to go to Disney World some day.

Her greatest strength is her ability to make people laugh. Maddie has realized laughter makes people happy, and she loves to be funny. Riding her bike was a huge accomplishment, she taught herself to ride without training wheels.

When Maddie grows up she wants to be a doctor. Her parents think that she would actually be a great lawyer. Her favorite memory was going to Great Wolf Lodge with her mom, dad and Zach for her 6th birthday, which was a surprise.

Her parents’ biggest challenge has been getting Maddie placed in a classroom that best fit her needs. It ultimately ended with an attorney and getting the Senator involved. They never realized how hard they would have to fight to get appropriate services through the school system.

Maddie is so much more than her diagnosis. She is fun, hilarious, and loving. She is definitely set in her ways, but is so sweet and tries so hard. She operates on her own timeline, there’s no rushing her. She is a joy that her parents cannot imagine living without.

Please help spread autism awareness and share this post. Check back tomorrow to see pictures and read all about another child.

Danny DouglasApril 27, 2016 - 7:15 am

Love this story. This little girl has taught me so much. She is the sweetest. ❤️❤️❤️

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