Friday, May 30, 2008

Biography for Austin

In our application for a canine companion, it asks for an autobiography or a biography if the applicant cannot write his own. Here is what I came up with. Please comment! Should I include anything else? Omit anything?

Austin was born at 8 pounds 1 ounce after a normal pregnancy but difficult labor and delivery. This resulted in meconium aspiration and lack of oxygen during birth. Austin was intubated and transferred to another hospital with a NICU. He was experiencing seizure activity at that time. He came off the respirator at about four days old, and was well enough to come home after eleven days.

Although Austin responded well to sights and sounds, he was still not grasping, sitting, or crawling at 10 months old. He was then diagnosed with choreoathetoid cerebral palsy. He began to receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech services after this time.

Austin participated in a toddler group and then a preschool program before starting kindergarten. He learned to drive his power wheelchair and use a communication device at age five.

Austin went to a small neighborhood elementary school and was always well liked. He had mostly the same peers throughout sixth grade. In junior high, Austin moved into mostly special education classes, and it was quite obvious he had fallen way behind his peers in school work. He also began to have some medical problems in the sixth grade. He was diagnosed with chronic aspiration, and needed to have a feeding tube put in. He also developed severe scoliosis and had to have a complete spinal fusion. Shortly after his spinal fusion, he developed a very severe staph infection that led to spinal meningitis. Even after long-term IV antibiotics, the infection kept coming back. So, just last month all his spinal fusion hardware was taken out, and he is again on long-term IV antibiotics.

Last fall, before starting high school, we made the decision to homeschool part of the day to concentrate on Austin’s reading, math, and computer skills. Austin still has a couple of classes at the high school and gets to spend some time with his friends.

Austin participates in Special Olympics Bowling, Basketball, and Wheelchair racing. He also plays Buddy Baseball in the summer. He enjoys shopping, going to movies, and playing computer and video games. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Austin has always been a happy and cheerful guy despite his medical problems and physical disabilities. He has a great smile and a kind heart and anyone who knows him loves him!


Amy said...

I think it's very good, but I am not sure what they are looking for exactly. Do they want reasons why a canine companion is something that would benefit him?

Thank you for sharing his story. :o)

Marilyn@Mixed Bouquet said...

Great bio! I'm not one to edit this type of thing. Like Amy, the only thing that I'm wondering is if they want to know how the dog will benefit Austin. That may be obvious to the group, though...

I'm so excited for all of you!

New Teaching Mom said...

Well, in the other (10!) pages we've explained how a dog would benefit him more in detail. This is the last page, which is asking for an autobiography/biography.

Beverly said...

Well, God bless him and your family. It sounds like you're doing a good job of recognizing what he needs from you.
My comment was going to be the same, that I'd like to hear how the dog would effect his life, but it sounds like you've done that in other areas of the application.

MoziEsmé said...

I like this. I feel like I know him - the challenges he's faced, his accomplishments, and his personality.

Mom2three said...

Thank you for sharing this. I thought it was very good biography. Shows how far Austin has come and that there is a need for a canine companion. Did they say how long the wait is until you find out the answer to your application? I'm looking forward to reading more!

We homeschool as well and I'm currently trying to finish my schooling to do MT.

Sammy...Go...Fetch...Hop, Hop, Hop


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