ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — When it comes to families, the Valentines are one big, happy group – Samantha, 21, Zachary, 20 are the older kids There’s also Joshua. 12 and 7-year-old David.
“They’re just awesome and amazing and I love them so much,” says mom Nellie of her brood.
They came to her, she says, “ by God’s design.”
Two her own, two she adopted, all on the autism spectrum.
“They all have different needs, some social needs some behavioral some a combination of all,” says Nellie.
Needs that mom Nellie didn’t know how to deal with until she started learning, getting her kids into therapy and then turning her knowledge into a website and books — all called Swanky Brain.
“Reading a book morning and night help them walk through life easier,” Nellie says.
And her kids are definitely learning — like when reading “Hitting Hurts Others” her son David said,“I should not hit someone.”
“ I like the Words Matter’ book because it helped me stop saying mean things to people when I get mad,” said Joshua.
Her older kids love the books, too. And as they grow Nellie’s books grow with them.
There are books that teach life lessons — dancing, socializing, grooming, making friends, communication skills.
Page-by-page Nellie’s books have helped her own kids and now they have helped kids and parents all over the world.
For Nellie it’s more than she ever could have dreamed of.
“It’s hard to describe unless you’re walking in our shoes what life with children on the spectrum is like,” she says, “I’m hoping for other parents this will lighten their load.Please don’t feel like the answers aren’t there. They are. Don’t give up.”
And to think it all started with her own family, a family weaved together by a common bond — loving each other despite challenges. a happy ending to this family’s story.
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