Deklen (who turns 12 in July) has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and selective mutism. He will only talk to his mother and a couple of his siblings; when they are not around he struggles to communicate.
At 4 ½, Deklen’s mother noticed him exhibiting behaviours similar to those of his older brother, who had already been diagnosed with autism.
Deklen underwent assessments by a paediatrician, a speech therapist and a psychologist. Thanks to his early diagnosis, Deklen was able to have early intervention therapies and has completed numerous behavioural programs along with speech therapy, social groups and occupational therapy for his hypermobility and low muscle tone.
Deklen can become quite upset very easily, or get very angry and lash out. Because he can’t talk to other children at school he is quite lonely and often just wanders around by himself. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes finds it hard to be around the 2 that he does have.
He is currently seeing a psychologist to help with his severe anxiety and mutism. Therapy Focus and his primary school ABLES (Abilities Based Learning & Education Support) program are helping to prepare him for the difficult transition to high school next year.
Despite everything, Deklen has kept his cheeky sense of humour and loves to make his siblings laugh.
Deklen likes playing mod-crosse, games on consoles, drumming, being outside riding his bike or quad bike, and playing on the trampoline. He loves West Coast Eagles and enjoys listening to relaxing music.