He is quite a mover and a shaker for a 4-year-old.
Last year, Austin Vahl spoke maybe 20 words. Over the summer he could not climb up the ladder of the slide or swing on the swingset at school...
Now, the blond preschooler talks to his teacher about what he observes while walking up the hill on the way to music class. He loves jumping, running, climbing and swinging on the swings.
“He has a vocabulary of 700 to 800 words,” said his grandmother, Rochelle Haller. “He speaks in sentences.”
Austin was born five weeks prematurely, and when he was about 2 years old he was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome.
The hereditary condition may cause a range of effects, from mild learning disabilities to severe mental retardation. It can mimic the symptoms of autism.
Austin has been diagnosed with a language disorder. His younger brother,15-month-old Curtis, does not have the condition.
John and Dana Vahl, Austin’s parents, tried to help him break through the communication barrier without fully knowing the limitations of his abilities.
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