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2015 Photographer Index

2014_hansen_andy 2015_hansen_briana

Gretchen Hansen
Gigi's Joy


When you looked at Brendon as a baby, all you could think about was what a perfect baby he was. From the moment Brendon was born, he was a mama’s boy. In the hospital, I would cry to the nurses because he constantly needed to be held and I was so tired, but they would not let me sleep with him in my arms. Even after we got home, Brendon would not let me put him down. He cried constantly and was always being treated for colds and fevers.

When his brother was diagnosed with Autism in 2011, I had questions about the rate of Autism in siblings. I made an appointment with his brother’s biomedical doctor and On January 28, 2012, almost exactly a year after his brother’s diagnosis, Brendon was also diagnosed with Autism. Where his brother thrived on neat and orderly, Brendon thrived on chaos. He could not stand to have anything neat and organized. He did not like anything in bins or boxes. He loved dumping everything out and making chaotic piles all over the house. You can just about imagine what our house looked like when both boys were stimming at the same time! Even with his food, Brendon prefers the chaotic mess of a taco salad or soup compared to his brother’s preference of round grapes or square sandwiches.

When his brother started in home ABA, Brendon went along for the ride, kind of like a 2 for 1 deal! Like his brother, we implemented a complete dietary overhaul and countless supplements from our DAN doctor. After waiting for funding from ABA we can proudly say that Brendon was denied services because he no longer shows any signs or symptoms of autism.

Now when you look at Brendon, all you can think about is what a perfect little boy he is. His deep, hearty laugh is contagious. We are still working on some tummy trouble that he has, but he is now a firey, feisty, happy, healthy 4k student with his peers. Brendon loves Legos, electronics, and driving his brother crazy. Brendon makes our family complete.

Amanda, mother of Brendon
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin