From infancy, my sons Jack and Gabe had both missed developmental milestones. I knew they needed special care – they had trouble rolling over, talking and socializing. Over and over the doctors ignored me and told me to “wait and see.” But they weren’t catching up, and I got tired of having my concerns dismissed when I knew something wasn’t right.

So I kept looking for someone who might be able to help, and I found Dr. Piven and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. It didn’t take long for us to get an answer: both boys were diagnosed with autism. The fear and anxiety I felt were coupled with relief and validation – we finally knew the truth, and had a plan for moving ahead. The most difficult part of the entire process was the repeated denial we got that anything was wrong from our hometown medical community. Once we finally got the actual autism diagnosis, we were able to take steps forward and get Gabe and Jack the help they needed. I’m a supporter of the Foundation of Hope because I don’t want any other mothers to worry like I did. We hope that one day, because of studies like this, early intervention for other children with autism will be possible.

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