Courtney and John noticed their daughter Bella didn’t interact well with other children. She didn’t speak until she was three, so they thought her behavior problems such as biting, scratching, and hitting were because she was having a hard time communicating. Bella received some assistance in her early years, but at 9 years old a series of events led Courtney and John to check Bella into a psychiatric ward. Her stay there was life changing for all three of them. Bella received an Autism and mood disorder diagnosis. From there there were able to get the proper treatment, direction and a plan of action.
Bijan was pregnant when she was told one of her twins had some abnormalities. They declined an Amniocentesis, and decided to keep the pregnancy. Once born, they found their son Jackson had 22q11.2 deletion syndrome- DiGeorge syndrome.
Their sons are now 3 years old. Jackson’s twin, Walker, was recently diagnosed with Autism.
Jennifer and James have 10 children, four are biological and six were internationally adopted. Four of their children have special needs including Down syndrome, Autism, Reye’s syndrome, and Moyamoya disease. Jennifer and James have a truly inspiring story and so much love in their family.
Christine’s daughter Skylynn was diagnosed at 2 years old with Autism. When Skylynn was first diagnosed, Christine found out that neither her insurance company or the state she lived in would cover the cost of Autism therapies. Christine began to fight for insurance reform and has a truly inspiring story of her journey to getting legislation to pass that insurance companies be required to cover Autism therapies. Skylynn is now nine years old and although she is considered to be severely Autistic, she has changed her mother’s life for the better.
Blanche is a woman in her mid-70’s whose husband had passed in recent years. Blanche has a grandchild named Bobby who came to live with her when he was six years old. Blanche noticed Bobby’s problems, but did not realize the extent of them until he started living with her. A definitive diagnosis of being on the Autism spectrum was not made until Bobby was in his 20’s. Raising her grandchild has proven to be difficult, however, Blanche has found joys in the changes of her life.