Kaylie is a gifted young adult who also has Autism. At the age of 16 months, she began having Myoclonic seizures and within three months went backward about a year in her development. The seizures occurred day and night for a year and a half. With much prayer, we pursued treatment at St. Louis and L.A. Children’s Hospitals. After all recommended methods had failed, the doctors found success with a second round of ACTH steroids at more than double the dose of the traditional protocol. The damaging seizures stopped and have never returned. We thank God for His gracious healing!
The years that followed showed significant intellectual and social delays and some learning disabilities. We had Kaylie tested and she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. We found a good socialization program for young children with autism and she participated in that for over a year. The public schools had a special education preschool class in which Kaylie was enrolled the year prior to Kindergarten.
Kaylie needed to be in special education classes through 2nd grade. At that point Kaylie was ready to be in a regular classroom, so she repeated 2nd grade and then continued through high school with the assistance of a one-on-one aide. By midway in her Junior year she was able to attend school without an aide and she graduated with a 3.4 GPA.
Kaylie is musically talented and plays the piano and sings. She was honored to have sung the National Anthem at the opening ceremonies of the Indiana Special Olympics in 2016. She also loves acting and has been in numerous community, school and church productions. Kaylie loves to read, play Pokemon Go and electronic games, and loves stuffed animals. And she enjoys making people laugh!
Kaylie has worked in several jobs which ended up not being a good fit for her. It has been a challenge finding a workplace willing to hire someone with autism. Kaylie is intelligent and is capable of working, but her social differences can be a deterrent in the interview process.
A few years ago, a friend of the family who owned a candle business offered to teach Kaylie the art and science of candle making. She spent several hours pouring candles with Kaylie while Mom watched and took notes. But it wasn’t until Fall 2017 that Kaylie expressed an interest in starting her own candle business.
With the help of Mom and Dad, Kaylie began making soy candles in jelly jars and selling them to friends and family. By the end of the first month she had sold 80 candles! She decided she wanted to continue and now sells candles and melts in more than fragrances online, in community businesses, and she regularly has a booth at local farmer’s markets and festivals.