Welcome to Kate's Personal Page
We always knew there was something unique and different about our beautiful little boy, Austin. From a very young age, he struggled in daycares, group activities, crowds and in many other common places on a daily basis. He was ultra-sensitive to noises, smells and certain lights. Austin's temper would go from calm to aggressive in a heartbeat, often for no apparent reason. He had trouble sitting still and focusing on tasks, or remaining in group activities. He loved to play by himself and only enjoyed certain textures of food. Austin fell behind with social, behavior and academic development at an early age. We never knew what his reaction would be to any situation, and, as a family, we adapted around his needs the best we could. We kept hearing "he's fine" or "he just needs some time to catch up", but his daily struggles kept getting worse and worse...
In September 2015, at the age of four, Austin was diagnosed with Autism (high functioning), as well as ADHD. We were VERY relieved to finally have a diagnosis but we quickly realized we were both empowered by this knowledge and completely on our own to determine what treatments would fit him best since there is no set path for kids on the spectrum. It has not even been a year since his diagnosis, but in this brief period of time we reached out to many local, state and non-profit organizations, including the Autism Society of North Carolina, for help. Nothing has been easy in any way, but we are so very thankful to each and every person who has helped us in any way.
We are currently helping Austin learn how to cope with everyday situations, noises, sounds, etc. Instead of avoiding these situations, we now seek them out as a family. He's really starting to enjoy going to places he would've avoided in the past. He's learning how to use the correct behaviors and tools to get through things that may bother him more than other children. He actually now gets excited to go to sporting events, festivals, restaurants - and even the grocery store! Austin's sister is his best friend and a great therapist for him. She teaches him daily how to socialize, play, share and love.
In December 2015, Austin started attending the Grotto Center at St. Gerard House. This was a huge turning point for Austin and our entire family. This school is absolutely amazing in every way and has helped him break through many of the barriers that were keeping him from developing and learning. He looks forward to school every day and is participating, making new friends, and learning more than he has ever been able to before. (We cannot say enough amazing things about St. Gerard House in Hendersonville, NC - they have given both Austin and us strength, hope and love daily!)
I am so excited to form "Team Austin" to help support the purpose of the Autism Society of North Carolina. This organization "provides advocacy, training and education and direct care services to individuals with autism, their families and professionals." I know what it feels like to receive and live with this diagnosis so I'd like to help give back to an organization that is assisting other families like ours in NC. I hope you'll consider donating, running or walking with "Team Austin"!
p.s. - If you choose to make a donation, please do so through the "Team Austin" page so he can watch his 'bar' move up towards the goal! :)
The Autism Society of North Carolina is the leading statewide resource organization serving people across the autism spectrum throughout their lifespans.
We understand the challenges of the autism community because we work with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families every day. We offer advocacy, training and education, and direct care that helps individuals with autism to, increase their social and communication skills, develop independent-living skills, succeed in school or on the job, participate in community activities, and advocate for themselves.
We have a statewide network of resources, connecting individuals with autism and their families to life-changing programs and supports unavailable anywhere else.
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