MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Four-year-old Fiorella Arcos has been going to Fraser in Eagan since she was 2. That was when a family friend alerted her parents that she might have autism.

“She told us, ‘Something is wrong with your daughter because she doesn’t have eye contact and she goes and plays by herself,’” said dad Cristian Arcos.

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He said she was developing normally, but started regressing after she turned 2.

“It used to be super hard. She used to get mad, you know, from playing outside to coming back inside, it was tantrums all the time,” Arcos said.

Fiorella Arcos (credit: CBS)

When a second baby joined the family, Cristian and his wife Karla identified early signs that he too had autism. Cristian Jr. did not respond when they called his name, and he preferred to play alone.

“Through the process, we learn how to deal with this because It’s hard, of course it is hard. It’s not easy. I won’t lie to anyone, it is not easy,” Arcos said.

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He says therapists at Fraser have helped Fiorella become more verbal and handle transitions better. And they are now working with Cristian Jr. The couple is also part of a parent support group.

“Things get better and better,” Arcos said. “Everyone wants their kids to be healthy in every way. Mentally and physically. But it doesn’t happen all the time.”

Your donations will help Fraser offer more services like this. A $100 donation provides one hour of family skills training.

The money raised at last year’s Pulling Together enabled Fraser to provide more training to its staff and to make upgrades to the technology the staff uses when working with children.

This year’s Pulling Together is Sept. 8 at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. Prospective teams must not exceed 13 members, 2,000 total pounds, and they must fundraise $5,000 for Fraser.

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