Ellis is three and a half years old and has been diagnosed with a de novo SHANK2 variant. We first began to notice signs of gross and fine motor delays when she was around six months old, which led us to start her in physical and occupational therapies. She began crawling at 14 months and walking at 22 months. She still has a few balance and coordination issues, but that doesn’t stop her from running and climbing with friends and family! She is able to feed herself with utensils, though not without the occasional spill. She is nonverbal and receives speech therapy multiple times a week. Our goal is to begin using a communication device regularly, in the hopes that this will eventually encourage her to use verbal communication.

Ellis has a smile that lights up a room and a laugh that is contagious. She enjoys books, listening to music, and spending as much time outdoors as possible. She is a gift and brings so much joy to our lives.