From his mother, Amanda:
My pregnancy with Landon was perfect. He was a perfect baby. Friends and family loved everything about him…his round cheeks, his chunky legs, and a few people told me that there is something “special” about him, that he “glowed” and made them happy.
Landon reached every milestone right on time. At his 18 month well check visit, his doctor was concerned about regression in speech. He stopped saying what few words he had picked up and replaced it with “EEEEEEEE.” His playtime went from making fun toddler messes into perfect, color-coded matchbox car parking lots. His laughing changed to crying and his daycare provider told me that she was having very difficult time handling the changes that took place in my son.
On January 11, 2011, I had him officially diagnosed with Autism and we started the process of Birth to 3. There I met a man and his wife who would become my first Autism friends. They introduced me to a DAN doctor in the area who treats autism using biomedical methods including diet and supplements. After reading Jenny McCarthy’s book Mother Warriors, I knew in my gut and heart that I had to do whatever I could to get the money to see this doctor. Changing everything we knew about modern medicine, diet and adding countless supplements into his diet was a huge struggle. I did catch some flak from family and friends who thought I was going about all of this wrong way, that I should trust the big “professionals.” Not long after, I adopted the motto “If society thinks it’s the wrong way, then I am on right path.” Using my gut as my guide, Landon has blossomed.
Landon started full time in home ABA after a 14 month wait for funding. Along with regular visits to our DAN doctor, awesome ABA therapists, and a complete diet overhaul, Landon is now attending Kindergarten with his peers with minimal help from teacher’s aids and staff. He still struggles socially and emotionally, but was recently evaluated for being gifted and talented in art and math. He is also reading at a 1st grade level. He graduated from full time ABA a year ahead of schedule and now only goes part time in-clinic. He loves arts and crafts, loves to run, is a Lego genius, and wants to drive a big truck when we grows up (he asked me if I would sit next to him in the front seat). He truly does glow.
Amanda, mother of Landon
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
During Landon’s photography session, he had a bit of a meltdown, as children often do. However, children on the Autism Spectrum can be much more susceptible to emotional outbursts – they are more frequent, and often more intense. Because I was there to document Landon, and sensing that his mother was comfortable with it, I kept on photographing.
I shared the following image and words on my Facebook page: