Michael’s Story

By Margaret

My son, Michael, was born 4 weeks premature – nearly 17 years ago. At the age of 18 months, he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS because he hadn’t started to walk or talk yet. At that time, we were told that he probably would never walk or talk. My husband and I were devastated. He began therapy within a month, at the local “Project Child” center.

Just prior to Mother’s Day 1996 (about 7 weeks before his second birthday), Michael got up and started walking/running across a neighbor’s bumpy back yard – to my amazement!!  Shortly thereafter, I had won a computer at a contest held at a shopping center. While my husband was hooking it up, Michael pointed to it and said “computer” (that was his first word, and he hasn’t shut up since).

He attended Mercer County Special Services Schools from kindergarten through 5th grade. At the beginning of 6th grade, he was mainstreamed in the local middle school, because the Special Services Schools could no longer keep him academically challenged. Throughout his middle school years, he maintained “honor roll” standing, in all the regular middle school subjects, just smaller classes. Today, he is a junior in high school, and has a keen interest in anything sports related, girls related (albeit, he’s a bit awkward with his ability to approach them), and computer related. He does have some difficulties with motor skills and dealing with abstract concepts, like algebra.