B. {Fredericksburg, VA family photographer}

You may remember this gorgeous boy from my family session that I shared with you last week.  You read the amazing story of his baby sister who is a heart hero.  Today, April 2nd, is World Autism Day and I am so proud to share with you B’s own story!

Here is what his wonderful momma had to say about this amazing fella:

“Braeden is one of the sweetest souls you will ever meet. He was a chunky, happy baby always willing to share a smile. At two he started to get chronic ear infections and really wasn’t talking. He loved to play by himself and taking long walks around the neighborhood. At three he still was not talking much, but the pediatrician reassured us, saying he was fine. I knew better, however, and thought something just wasn’t right. He started having huge temper tantrums, and had a lot of difficulty going out in public. It was hard to take him anywhere. He would get frustrated at the smallest things at home.”

“He was tested at Child Find and was diagnosed with a speech delay and started therapy. We also enrolled him in a Montesorri preschool where he loved school his first year. He had a great teacher who really worked with him and his confidence grew. His second year there was a different story. He got frustrated, he couldn’t focus, he didn’t want to do the work, even though he loved to learn. We KNEW we had to make a serious change when he ran out of the school building because the teacher wasn’t reading the book he wanted to read. He wasn’t a spoiled brat, he wasn’t just defiant, the sweet boy I knew was in there was trapped. Trapped in an overwhelming environment and in a body that just couldn’t be still. We had been waiting for 6 months to see the Developmental Pediatrician, and our appointment was coming up soon, so I took him out of school and homeschooled him. His confidence began to slowly return and he loved learning once again. Within a month he was diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, PDD-NOS, and Sensory Processing Disorder. We started OT and medicines to help. I saw the little boy that was trapped begin to emerge. We got him an IEP and he was able to start public school the next year where he had an incredible teacher and he soared. We have had ups and downs and are still trying to find the right doses and medicines, but he is doing SO well, and we are SO very proud of him. He really enjoys school and works hard every day. He always brings a smile to our faces and gives the BEST hugs EVER! He is our little hero.”


B. has a smile that brings joy to anyone who sees it.  Just spending time with him made me smile.  Knowing his journey makes him that much more amazing, because I know what a gift those sweet, sweet smiles are to his family!

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