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Amanda's Friends




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Welcome to Austin's Page

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Austin has spastic quadriplegia cp. He is 1 year post Rhizotomy. He
utilizes assistive technology. Austin is now in preschool. He receives 2
hrs. of P.T. and 1 hr of O.T. along with 1hr speech and 1 hr in the assistive
technology lab per week.

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This is Austin with his Mommy Francie and big brother Jerad!

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Austin was born June 20, l995, although two weeks late a beautiful and
healthy baby. He was meconium stained so they didn't want him breathing until they checked his lungs. That was scary for me. His lungs were clear and he was given a clean bill of health.
We had some concerns about Austin's development but our Dr. felt that there was no call for alarm he kept telling us that all babies develop at
different rates and that it wasn't fair to compare him to his brother who
had walked at 7 months. My sister works at the hospital and had Austin
visiting the girls at work (he was 9months old), when she ran into one of
our Dr.'s partners and she ask him what he thought about Austin. He told
her if he were to see Austin in his office that he would send him for a
developmental evaluation with a developmental specialist. The next week we were in his office and the week after we were at the University of Tenn.
for the developmental eval. The specialist saw Austin for about 5min. after
we had given med. history to staff for about an hour. She came back in,
handed me a book, and said well he has Cerebral Palsy. I thought I was
going to die right there. I had no idea what it meant. I was totally in
shock. She then had the nerve to say "well you knew that or you wouldn't be here, right?" NO, I had no idea. After the initial shock I wanted to get
all of the info that I could get my hands on. We found out about the
Kentucky First Steps program and signed Austin up right away. By the time that Austin was a year old he was attending their early intervention unit 4 days a week for 2.5 hrs daily. He received P.T., O.T., and speech therapy.
Austin also was introduced to assistive technology and ran his first switch program on the computer when he was 15 months. We were able to help the center where he had services to get their own assistive technology lab. It serves southeastern KY.

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We have been through a lot in the past 2 years. The most important change in Austin's life has been his Rhizotomy. He had his surgery 16 days before his second birthday. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do.
He did great!! It was very hard for me and my entire family. The first few
days were the worst. He had a bad reaction to the morphine so he didn't
recover as quickly as expected. Still we were home in 5 days. We have seen great things and would do it all over again in a second. Of course, Austin had the best Dr. in the world. I will never be able to thank him enough for the extra chances that he has been able to give Austin. The surgery has made Austin 's legs , ankles, and feet limber for the first time in his life. We hope to soon start with the T.E.S., we are waiting for our unit.  He will wear the electrodes while he sleeps to strengthen his muscles while he sleeps. His therapists have seen kids with cp show great progress while using the T.E.S. unit. We are hoping for great things.

Since school started they are having a difficult time getting the things
Austin needs. It's been frustrating but they keep telling me that they are
taking care of it. Austin is very bright and I don't want him to get left
behind just because they can't figure out how to communicate with him. I
went to see the head of the special ed dept. in our district and before I
got out of the building I was so frustrated that I also spoke to the asst.
superintendent and then the superintendent. He ask how old Austin was I
told him 3 and I'm already in to see you. I told him I guess he has a lot
to look forward to with me starting with him so young. He said he wished he had more parents involved. I let them know real quick that I wanted
Austin's needs met and that I would not back down. Maybe things will be
smother. I hope!

My special angel is the most beautiful little boy in the world. His
eyelashes are longer than any that I have ever seen. Austin is very
outgoing. He always can turn anyone day into a good one with a smile. You know how crabby some Dr. are. He always makes them smile. Austin flirts shamelessly. He loves his family, computer, Elmo, Winnie the Pooh, Barney.
He loves school and all of his therapies. He dreams of being independent,
you can see it in the things he does. He loves to be in control. He really
can manipulate the people around him. No one does it better. He don't let
me stay for therapy anymore he started around 18months, he would cry until I left. I would stand outside out of sight. He would stop crying right after I left the room. I think he feels that those things he can do independent from me and he likes that. I could go on and on and you still wouldn't know just how special my angel is.


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