Kayden Adams, 3, and his sister Daizey Adams, 2, both receive services through Riverside/Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities. They live with their grandparents, Angie and Roger Collins in Piqua.
Kayden was the first to receive services from Riverside, after his grandmother realized he wasn’t walking by the time that most children do, and wasn’t talking as much as other children his age.
“By the time he was 19 months, he had three words,” Angie explained. “A few months later he had zero words, and then he wouldn’t look at me.”
Angie said she was hesitant to have him diagnosed, but with a background working in pediatrics and having three children of her own, she suspected he might have autism. She did some research and found screening questionnaire on the Autism Speaks website that prompted her to move forward with an evaluation. Kayden was diagnosed with severe autism and began working with Riverside Early Intervention.
“Kayden has had all kinds of therapies,” Angie said. “He received speech therapy and occupational therapy, and just learned to go up and down steps before starting school in September.”
Kayden made great strides during his time in Early Intervention. After aging out of Early Intervention, Kayden was determined eligible for Riverside services and assigned a case manager to help him and his family set plans for his future. He now attends preschool in Piqua and is continuing to grow and learn.
“His favorite thing is his tablet that he uses to communicate,” Angie said. “It is preinstalled with a talking app that helps him communicate with me, because if he is hungry or thirsty, I would never know it. He does very well and is learning to tell me what he needs.”
Several things bring Kayden joy, including the “Ring-a-Tangs” TV show. He also likes letters and nursery rhyme songs.
Kayden’s sister, Daizey, is totally different, according to Angie. She is a bundle of energy.
“She runs!” Angie said. “That’s all she does, and she is full of personality.”
Angie explained that she has always had an eye on Daizey’s development and wasn’t surprised when Daizey didn’t start speaking. “She is really smart. She just isn’t saying any words.”
Daizey does not yet have a diagnosis, but has been working with Riverside Early Intervention for quite some time. “It has been a blessing that (Riverside early intervention developmental specialist) Bethany (Covault) was already around Daizey. When she was here for visits with Kayden, Bethany noticed Daizey didn’t have social skills. But when it came time for Daizey to start with her own visits, she already knew Bethany. That made it easier.”
Angie said it is a challenge trying to potty-train two children who don’t communicate verbally, but they are both very smart and doing well. She hopes that as one of them learns a new skill that it will inspire the other one to try to learn, since they are so close in age.
“They look a lot alike,” Angie said. “I get asked often if they are twins.”