Blog

 

Meet Grace and Gabriel

 
 

April is Autism Awareness Month, and to mark the occasion, we are shining a spotlight on the stories of individuals and their families who make our work possible, and who provide hope and support for the autism community. Our thanks to everyone who keeps this community strong, supportive, hopeful, and compassionate. We celebrate and appreciate each of you- this month and throughout the year.

Meet Massimo

Meet Franco

Meet Grace and Gabriel

Meet Anthony

Meet Ben

Meet Grace and Gabriel

For many, an autism diagnosis is just one piece of a complicated medical history. Sleep and digestive disorders, anxiety, and seizure disorders are all more common in children with autism. This was the case for twins Grace and Gabriel, who have been treated at CHOP nearly their entire lives.

As babies, Grace and Gabriel had breathing and feeding problems such as apnea and severe reflux. As they neared their first birthday, it also became clear that the twins were not meeting the normal developmental milestones.

Those physical and developmental concerns led to their being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, as well as a neuromuscular disorder and ADHD, and Gabriel was also diagnosed with Tourette’s. The diagnoses at CHOP led to therapy and special support.

One of the most constant challenges in Grace and Gabriel’s lives has been feeding and digestion problems. After a long journey and the support of their multidisciplinary care team- which includes dieticians, behavioral health professionals, nurses, social workers and child life specialists- Grace and Gabriel are both doing well now. The treatment and therapies for their various medical problems are working to keep them healthy and functioning.

The personalized treatment from their CHOP team has allowed them to pursue their passion for helping people in need. “They are the most empathetic, kind, sweet children you will ever meet,” says their mom, Traci.

Gabriel’s special passion is helping homeless people and veterans in need, while Grace is focused on supporting people in law enforcement. Read more about how Grace and Gabriel’s journey and how they are making a difference as active outreach leaders in their community.