The Shelf Story

What is The Shelf and what does it have to do with autism? Let me explain.

My husband and I had little understanding of autism. Same with our families. But from an early age, we recognized subtle signs with our daughter. Extreme separation anxiety, strong responses to light and sound, sensory processing issues with clothing and food, and an obsession with order and routine.

Many believed she was not autistic because she made eye contact and was verbal. But as many autism parents know, the intensity of the signs looks different for everyone. She was diagnosed just shy of her 3rd birthday.

This is where The Shelf comes into play. Rylyn has an obsession with her Elf On The Shelf named Peter Pan. He's become part of the family over the years and talk of him dominates many conversations. 


Once Rylyn was diagnosed, we hit the ground running, adding her to wait lists for therapy and scheduling OT sessions. In the spring of 2022, she started an early childhood special education program through our school and continues to develop strong social skills. Early intervention has helped Rylyn better understand what's bugging her and better communicate what she's feeling. 

I hope The Shelf raises awareness for autism and how prevalent it is among kids. Ultimately, more kids will be diagnosed at an earlier age and we can learn more about how to better love on those with autism. 

Let's learn the signs and love the differences!