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2017-hansen-tristan

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2017 Photographer Index

2017-hansen-maurice 2017-james-dave

Gretchen Hansen
Gigi's Joy
http://gigisjoy.wordpress.com/

Tristan

Most days, you can find Tristan bent over his drawing pad or a piece of paper, recreating pictures he sees on his current favorite movie or book. When he really likes what he draws, he jumps in the air with a huge grin on his face. Most of the time, if I’m quick enough I can snap a quick picture before he erases the image on his drawing pad. He’s a gifted artist and I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go!

Tristan also has Autism. He was diagnosed at age three after I realized that most kids his age were using full sentences. Tristan would scream if he was frustrated or drag his Dad or I to what he wanted, but he couldn’t tell us “I want…”

We thought this was strange because he used to talk. I remember taking his trick or treating before he turned two and he would say his own version of “trick of treat” to each house before we moved on. We noticed his language skills drop off completely when his brother, Graham, was born, but thought he regressed because babies don’t need to ask for anything...they just cry.

After his diagnosis, Tristan began ABA therapy. It was difficult at first, but now he completes each program with flying colors! Each week, his lead therapist needs to come up with new programs to attempt to keep up with Tristan’s progress!

Tristan is amazing. Life with Autism still isn’t easy, but he can talk to us. He can ask for something if he needs it. And he says “I love you,” which I never thought I’d hear him say.
I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go!

Katy, mother of Tristan
Burlington, Wisconsin