The Barkanic Family | Allentown, PA | AnneMarie Hamant Portraits & Stories

This session was documented by AnneMarie Hamant Portraits & Stories. AnneMarie, thank you for your involvement in our organization and for capturing these beautiful moments for this family. Your time and talent is greatly appreciated.

Jimmy, age 3, "happy, determined and active."

Words by Lauren Barkanic, Our daughter Olivia was born in the summer of 2007 and it was everything we dreamed it would be. She was unplanned but very wanted and we were excited to add another child to our happy little family. We started trying in the spring of 2008, unfortunately life had other plans and because of secondary infertility it took us quite a while. I finally found out I was pregnant in June of 2013 and we were beyond thrilled! Life was wonderful for our little family of four and we were so happy to have finally given our daughter a sibling. Jimmy was a super healthy baby and life was great. We started to notice a little before Jimmy's second birthday that he didn't seem to be meeting milestones the same way his sister had, but he was a different child, he was super physically active, he was a boy and it had been quite a while, so we thought maybe we just didn't remember clearly and we would just give him some time. At two and a half when he still wasn't talking much at all we started to get worried. We called early intervention to have him evaluated and found out that he was behind in a few areas. He started receiving speech and occupational therapy and we started trying to get in with a developmental pediatrician. His speech therapist mentioned that she thought he might be displaying some autistic behaviors and honestly I was shocked! It never even crossed my mind that my child might be autistic, but the more research I did the more I agreed with her and the more anxious I was to get him evaluated. In February of 2017, two days after his third birthday he was diagnosed with ASD. I was actually a little relieved because at this point I knew he was autistic and the diagnosis meant he would be able to get the help he needed. It hasn't been long, but his language has already grown so much, he went from a few single words to singing and sentences! My sweet little boy said "Mama, I love you!" Which I wasn't sure I would ever get to hear. Sometimes autism is hard, but loving Jimmy is easy and he has most definitely made me a better human being!

Spectrum Inspired.