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On the left, mom holds her one-year-old daughter at her birthday party, on the right, same girl looks intently into the camera while her mom takes her photo

‘At 18 months, we worried about her lack of speech. ‘Read to her.’ She would pull the book away, mad I was touching it in the first place.’: Mom learns to accept daughter’s autism diagnosis

“I allowed myself to mourn what I thought our life was going to look like. Then I told myself I needed to move forward because that beautiful brown-eyed girl is counting on me to be her mother. To advocate for her, to fight for her, and to speak for her until she could speak herself.”

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