Here is my story about AUTISM and why AUTISM AWARENESS is so important to me...  I was 24 yrs old and found out I was pregnant w/ our first child!  We were ecstatic...we had dreamed and planned for awhile now!  At 20 weeks, we found out we were going to have a precious baby boy!!  Tom, my DH, was so beside himself, as I was, too, because we just couldn't wait to meet him!!  His name is Christopher Thomas!!  I started having some complications w/ swelling, water gain, and hbp.  At 38 wks, they had to induce me w/ potocin and nasty old magnesium sulfate due to pre-eclampsia : (  My bp was very high at my Dr Appt that was July 15th, 1999, Tom's birthday!  He was excited that I may be having our son, our first born child on his birthday!  My OB sent me to the hospital immediately!  I was in labor for 14 hrs w/ him and had him on July 16th, 1999.  He was a normal developing baby until 4 months of age...that is when he got his 4 month shots : (  After that, our whole world changed!!!!  He started having infantile spasms(seizures) and chronic ear infections.    He had to have his first set of tubes in his ears at the young age of 7 months.  Things just dwindled from there...he was very developmentally delayed!!  At 10 months old, he still was not setting up on his own, so therefore, he wasn't crawling.  I knew something had went wrong!!  I asked his pediatrician that gave him his 4 month shots and she said it was just coincidence that he got his 4 month shots and then everything started happening!!  BS!!  At 1 yr old, I got him enrolled in First Steps and that was a major prayer answered for us!!  He still was delayed, but the therapy he recived thru them was wonderful!! : )  He started setting up on his own, then crawled, and started walking around the furniture...and he walked on his own at the age of 21 months!!  We were so very proud of him!  I knew things weren't right, so I kept on until I got an answer, he was 4 1/2 yrs old...I'll never forget, March 2004, his Ped Neurologist diagnosed him w/ PDD, NOS, a form of AUTISM! : (  Kiersten, our second child, our precious baby girl, was only 2 months old when I received the diagnosis!  I was scared to death.  I thought oh no! I hope something doesn't happen to her!  I still got her immunized, but on a slower schedule!!  It has been a very long road, but I wouldn't trade either one of my kids for the world!!   Christopher has taught me so much...he is truly a BLESSING from God!!  Kiersten is, too.  She helps out w/ her brother, too, even though she is younger.  I would have never dreamed in a million years that I would have a special needs child, but God only gives them to special parents!!  He says he will not give you more than you can handle and I truly believe that!!  God is the ANSWER to AUTISM...w/out Him, I could not have handled this journey!!  We have even farther to go, but w/ God, ALL things are possible!!  I love you, Christopher are mommy's baby boy!!  I love you, too, Kiersten are mommy's baby girl and such a big helper!!  : )

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