Stories of Autism: Isaiah

This is an incredibly special little boy, and I’m honored that his parents are sharing his story for the Stories of Autism project. I met Isaiah when he was just a few day old, in the NICU. I had never seen a baby so tiny, and it was a humbling experience. A few weeks later, I went back to the hospital with my camera. As I was taking pictures, I remember thinking that if a baby this small can survive, he must be destined for great things. With as many lives that Isaiah has touched already, he is well on his way.

Gigi's Joy- Stories of Autism 7

From Isaiah’s parents:

Isaiah came into the world ten weeks premature on a Tuesday night just before Thanksgiving, 2006.  My pregnancy was going smoothly, so his early arrival was quite a shock.  He spent forty days in the NICU, and came home on New Year’s Eve.

Gigi's Joy: Stories of Autism premature

A new baby in the house…quite an adjustment!  We tried to focus on the positive.  We had time to prepare for Isaiah to come home while he was being cared for in the hospital.  He had a few bumps in the road, but overall he was healthy and growing.  He was taking more time to develop than was typical, which was not a surprise considering his being born so early.  Around the time he was two years old, though, he didn’t seem to be making the progress that he should.  Isaiah was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in June 2009.

Gigi's Joy- Stories of Autism

Learning that our child is, in fact, on the spectrum took us through a roller coaster of emotions.  I don’t know if we will ever get off the roller coaster, but we do our best to enjoy the ride.  Isaiah is such a happy boy.  He has a deep love for Jesus and has an incredibly kind heart.  I don’t know any other child who shows such concern for others over himself the way that Isaiah does.
Gigi's Joy: Stories of Autism 3
Similar to other families with Autistics, we have to manage anxiety, therapy schedules, nighttime insomnia, and meltdowns.  We choose not to focus on these events, though.  We are truly blessed to have Isaiah – Autism or not.
Gigi's Joy- Stories of Autism 6
Each milestone he reaches gives us so much more to celebrate.  We are so proud of how hard he works to learn, all that he has accomplished, and most of all the love that he shows others.

Gigi's Joy: Stories of Autism 1
We like to think that Isaiah came into the world so early, so that we could be blessed with extra time with him.  We’ll never forget those early days with Isaiah when we had to unhook our baby from the machines before we could hold him.
Gigi's Joy: Stories of Autism NICU
Those quiet moments in the hospital provided us with the time we would need to prepare for the road ahead, though we didn’t know it at the time.
Gigi's Joy- Stories of Autism 8
Now, at 6 years old, we are learning right alongside Isaiah – and we love and appreciate every moment that we have together to put the pieces of the Autism puzzle together.
Gigi's Joy- Stories of Autism puzzle
Tim and Becky,
parents of Isaiah
Appleton, Wisconsin
The new Stories of Autism gallery goes live on Monday, April 29th. Please be sure to visit it to read about Isaiah and other children on the spectrum!

8 Comments on “Stories of Autism: Isaiah

  1. Gretchen – this is GREAT! I had seen some of Isaiah’s pictures before, but I LOVE the last one with the puzzle pieces. I love shooting photos of my kids from above and the white shirt, wood floor and colorful pieces just put me over the top. I hope this all things to great things for you; and Becky did a great job with the story as well. 🙂

    • Thanks, Judy! The puzzle piece one is the portrait submitted for the Stories of Autism gallery. (It was Becky’s idea – I thought it was brilliant!)

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