About ELF

Erika Lynn Dixon was born a health baby on Oct. 9 1984. It was a perfectly normal birth with an apgar reading of 9 then 10. After Erika had her first immunization, the next day she did not let me know she was awake. When I went in her room to get her from the crib, she was soaking wet in her one-piece pajamas and turning blue. We rushed her to the hospital, they could not find anything wrong with her but we stayed for 3 days. When Erika was 2 and a half we took her to a neurologist who diagnosed her with autism. He basically told us to go home and just deal with it. Trying to tell me, her mother what she would be capable of doing and what she would not. I said how can you tell me what the future would bring. I mean he was not God. From that day on it was a upward battle. I was not going to let any one tell me what my daughter would be able to do and what she would not. Fortunately when she turned 3 we were able to get her into a early intervention program at our public school.

"she would be able to let the world in."

From that point on the most important thing to me was to have my daughter fit in to social as best she could. After all I know plenty of people that are not so smart, but do very well. I figured if she could just fit in life would be good for her. So I kept her in public school in special ed classes, until she was 9 then we set up inclusion class situation. Before that we were lucky enough to find a doctor who would treat her for 12 years. From the age of 6 we took Erika to therapy with a Osteopathic Psychiatrist. His therapy desensitized Erika to the world around her so she would be able to let the world in. Now at the age of 24 she is a pretty well adjusted adult. She still has some issues, but she is able to cope pretty well. Erika is very high functioning and is able to work but finding work is a problem now. We continue to move forward and look for better ways for Erika to live. It is my belief that Erika one day will be able to live alone or with a roommate. She is very self-sufficient and continues to grow in independence.

~ Linda Dixon, Co-Founder, Erika Lynn Foundation