Today's story is about Coco Bradford. She is a 5-year girl with autism. She actually had a normal beginning of her childhood, as she had begun speaking when she was 2-years old. The problem happened after she started speaking, as she suddenly stopped, and did not utter a single word for the next 3 years. Suffice to say this caused great worry to her parents, who did not know what to do in order to help their little girl out.
The girl who didn't say a single word for 3 years is Coco Bradford. She is suffering from autism, but that condition didn't stop her from enjoying life to the fullest, and always being happy. You can see in the above photo that she had a great childhood.
Coco Bradford had a pretty normal childhood, especially considering that she has autism. She actually started speaking normally, just like all children do. What worried her parents and the doctors was that she suddenly stopped speaking when she was 2 -years old.
Coco had an ingenious method to try to communicate to her family and other people - instead of trying to say the words aloud; she tried to communicate by drawing pictures. The only problem is that she got frustrated in situations where the others did not understand her.
The first words Coco spoke, after three years of complete silence, was "more toast please." This was during the family's morning breakfast, which surely shocked her parents. Just imagine hearing your kid speak for the first time after 3 years of silence.
Her mother told reporters that "It was a really magical moment - it was the first thing she has said in three years. " Her mother was simply full of joy to be able to talk to her daughter and to be able to finally hear something back from her.
Coco's mother continued the interview by saying 'Her exact words were ''I want more toast please''. She just kept saying it and we were just like "oh my god." "Oh my god" is the exact same thing any parent would say in a situation like this.
Coco didn't just stop at saying the magical words "more toast please." She also started to jump up and down, no doubt full of happiness because of her ability to speak returned to her. She always loved toast according to her mother, so no surprise that was her choice of first words.
It appears that kids with autism have a limited diet, which is why Coco loved eating toast. Her mother also said 'You are not supposed to show how excited you get as kids link power with that word but we just couldn't control it. We were clapping and cheering.'
A lot of kids with autism have delayed language skills - which is the same problem Coco also had. She was late in saying her first words (most kids say them around the 7-9th month period), and some kids with autism also struggle to properly communicate.
According to the National Autistic Society, autism has a spectrum of different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include lack of social instinct, an interest in things rather than people, difficulties with language, and finding comfort in routine and repetitiveness.
Although people with autism in most cases have almost all of the above-listed symptoms, the degree to which these symptoms show is what is going to affect the quality of life of the person with autism. The less these symptoms appear, the better their life is going to be.
You might get the impression that Coco's ability to speak returned on its own, but that's not what happened. Coco had actually started a novel type of speech therapy called Applied Behavioural Analysis, or ABA. She started the therapy in September last year.
This revolutionary speech therapy that is helping thousands of people and children around the world, has been developed at the University of California. The system uses a system of rewards to teach children with autism the skills and social norms required to properly operate in today's society.
The Bradford's are quite a large family - Mrs. Bradford is currently living in St Ives, Cornwall, the UK with her husband Luke, as well as their four children Bianca, 28, Chelsea, 25, Elle, 22, and Oakley, eight. According to Mrs. Bradford, the whole situation has been difficult for the family.
According to Coco's mother, Coco, even when she started speaking when she was 26-months old, she never actually formed complex sentences. At best, Coco could form two sentences. Now that she has begun therapy, her speaking should become much better than before.