Coco Bradford is a beautiful five-year-old girl from St Ives, Cornwall. The little girl had been diagnosed with Autism when she was very young. Regardless of her condition, Coco was still a happy, fun little girl who has always been given all the love she could ever need.
Coco had began talking shortly after turning two-years-old. However, she only advanced to two-word sentences before her speaking started to fade away. Soon, Coco wouldn’t speak at all.
Instead, she would just draw and point to pictures in order to communicate. But the little girl would often become frustrated when people didn’t know what she was trying to get at.
The typical signs of Autism include a lack of social instinct and an interest in things as opposed to people. The condition is also often characterized by difficulties with language as well as finding comfort in routine. People who have Autism typically show all of these symptoms but to varying degrees depending on the person and the severity of the condition.
Coco’s mother, Rachel Bradford, shared that Coco hadn’t just stopped speaking. She also eventually stopped responding to her name and wouldn’t make any eye contact. This went on for about three years.
Eventually, Coco started a special type of speech therapy called Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA. The therapy is a reward-based system that is aimed at teaching struggling children certain social skills and training them to behave according to essential social norms. Coco was only able to receive the therapy after extensive fundraising efforts.
After a few months in therapy, Coco finally spoke again. The little girl had spontaneously said, “I want more toast please.” It was her first time speaking in three years.
It was just so ordinary of a phrase and Coco had spoken it right in the middle of the family’s routine breakfast. Her mother shares that the family was ecstatic.
She admits that you’re not typically supposed to get too excited because children with Autism will then associate that power to the phrase, but the Bradfords just couldn’t help themselves. They were too excited for their little girl.
Coco was also pleased with herself. She started jumping up and down and just kept repeating the phrase. Rachel Bradford shares, “I am not surprised her first words were about toast. She loves it and has always eaten it.”
Rachel also explains that she called Coco’s tutors right away to tell them the good news. The mother also shares that those first few words seem to have opened a door for Coco. Just two days after she asked for more toast, Coco was using many more words. She even spoke a greeting to her father when he came home from work one day.
The little girl is now shocking her family everyday with how much she has learned. Coco’s mother concludes, “It is just so lovely and I can not explain how happy we all are.”