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Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

During her pregnancy, Matilde’s mother found it difficult to eat because she was often nauseated. She needed frequent bed rest. In the seventh month, an ultrasound showed that the baby’s weight was low. Mother noted that during her pregnancy with Matilde’s older sister, the baby had kicked and responded more to sounds.

After a painful labor, Matilde was born. During the first month, she was too quiet and rarely cried. She had also had breathing and feeding problems that concerned her parents.

By the time that Matilde was four months old, her parents and grandmother knew that something was wrong. She was hypotonic, and was only interested in observing her own hands. She was not interacting with her family.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Matilde could see poorly, and could not crawl or creep

As Matilde grew older, she was not keeping up with her peers in any area. She was not following instructions, she was not responding to people around her, and she was not learning to crawl or creep. At 23 months of age, she had her first seizure, and she was given anticonvulsants in an attempt to treat them. She was diagnosed as being autistic and epileptic. Her parents were told by two hospitals that Matilde would never become well, and one hospital in Milan recommended that little Matilde be institutionalized.

Parents did not agree and they began looking for answers. They heard about the “What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child” Course in Italy and enrolled. After attending the course and learning about The Institutes programs, they immediately began a home program with Matilde.

Matilde had visual problems, auditory problems, poor understanding, no speech and she was unable to crawl, creep, walk or run

When Matilde’s family started the Home Treatment Program, Matilde was able to see, but could not recognize pictures. She had a severe strabismus. She did not appear to understand anything that was said to her. She was bothered by the sound of voices – she cried whenever her sister spoke. While she was overly sensitive to some sounds, to other sounds she was insensitive. For example, she did not react to loud sounds, such as fireworks. She was unable to crawl, creep, or walk. Instead she would sit and scoot short distances on her bottom. Matilde had no words of speech.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Matilde was upset by the sound of her sister’s voice, as well as many other sounds

Parents began to give Matilde more and more opportunity on the floor, so she could learn to crawl. She learned to crawl on her belly, then got up on her hands and knees and began to creep. She crept all around the house. As she crept more and more, she began to interact with her family and the environment around her.

Matilde began crawling and creeping – then walking!

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Now Matilde could creep all over the house

Matilde crept hundreds and hundreds of meters daily – her next goal was walking. Using the overhead ladder, her parents and The Institutes staff taught Matilde how to walk.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Mom watches with excitement as Matilde learns to walk

Matilde began to walk independently. She loved her newfound freedom and her ability to get wherever she wanted, both indoors and outdoors. Now she could explore!

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Matilde could walk anywhere, and started running!

In addition to her physical development, The Institutes staff taught parents how to develop Matilde from an intellectual perspective. Parents began to teach Matilde how to read using large words, which she could see clearly, even with her visual issues. They then began to teach her math and bits of intelligence, as described in the book “How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence”.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

With Bits of Intelligence, Matilde could learn about anything and everything

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

For Matilde, the language of math began by understanding quantity

When Matilde began to speak more and more, parents started putting the words up on the wall so everyone could see them –now there are hundreds of words

Matilde quickly advanced in her intellectual ability and learned to read books on her own. She can perform impressive math operations. With her growing physical and intellectual development, Matilde’s speech greatly advanced. As parents saw her speak more and more words, they started writing the words and putting them up on the wall for Matilde. They named the wall, “Matilde’s Beautiful Words”. While she started saying just a few words, she now says hundreds. She has so many words that parents are running out of space! She even says sentences up to 4 words long.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Beautiful Matilde with her beautiful wall of beautiful words

Today Matilde is highly intelligent

Matilde is now five years old, and parents report that she is highly intelligent and understands everything. She is not as hypersensitive to sounds as she used to be. She is talking a lot, and can run as far as 100 meters without stopping!

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

Matilde has an infectious smile!

Matilde has come a long, long way. Her father and mother and sister work with her every day to insure that she is getting better each day. She has gone from having very poor vision to reading, from immobility to running, and from being speechless to talking.

Autism and Epilepsy: Matilde’s Amazing Journey Toward Wellness

The best therapists in the world: Matilde and her team

Matilde’s family was told to medicate, warehouse, and forget their child – as so many parents the world over have been told about their children. They would not leave their beautiful daughter to such a fate, and now they have made a beautiful life for her. They have also provided a stellar example for parents everywhere who are looking for hope and help for their children.

Bravissima, Matilde!

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