Rafaella was born as a healthy little girl and seemed to be developing normally.  She took her first steps at 14 months and begin speaking soon after.  Then, suddenly, when she was three years old, her parents noticed that she was behaving very differently.  She stopped speaking and had sudden emotional outbursts of crying or laughing, for no apparent reason.  Her parents took her to see psychologist who said her behaviors were related to an inability to regulate her emotions.  She saw a neurologist a year later who diagnosed her as autistic.  Her parents came to the RVF with hopes for improvement.

Rafaella with her parents at La Escuelita