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The Austin Family Grows

david austin

How did you discover your child had special needs?

David (2) was adopted from China by the Austin family. When the family decided to adopt, they received his adoption file which included medical records. They were informed early on by China that David had several special needs which included cleft palate, anal atresia, and a deformed ankle and foot due to birth defects. While his mother admits this information was intimidating at first, it did not affect their decision to adopt. Catherine and Tim were determined God had equipped them to handle any of David’s needs.  He has now been a part of their family since April 2016.

How did you learn about Easter Seals Early Intervention?

The family admits they had never had a child with these types of special needs before. They reached out to a friend who also had a child with disabilities and it was suggested to them to contact Babynet to get his eligibility. From there, Catherine and Tim had to make a decision on who would be their Early Intervention Provider. They looked to a neighboring physical therapist for guidance in making that decision. It was suggested to them to use Easter Seals. David Austin just began his Early Intervention journey in June 2016.

How do you feel your child is doing now in comparison to when they first started their Early Intervention Journey? What are they able to do now that they were not able to do before?

Before meeting David, Catherine and Tim were told he could not walk due to the deformity of his foot. However, when the family first met him, he walked on his toes all around the room. Catherine states David is extremely determined and has found his own way around his disabilities. “Nothing is going to slow him down.” states Catherine. David’s Early Intervention journey has just begun; however, he will soon begin physical therapy and speech therapy. He is scheduled for cleft palate surgery within the month with Dr. Hobbs of Spartanburg. Upon arriving to the family in April, David has overcome many fears including walking in grass, taking a bath, and dogs. He lived previously in a Children’s Home and was most comfortable in an institutional setting. Catherine states he had a lot to adjust to, needed to be held constantly, and was scared of many things. In the past two months, David has overcome these fears, loves riding the boat with his siblings, and also loves their family dog.

What kinds of supports have been most helpful to you and why?

Catherine states her greatest support is her husband, Tim. She states they make a wonderful team and know when each other needs a retreat or break and will accommodate that. The family also attends church regularly and can rely on friends to step in to help when needed. Catherine and Tim live next door to a physical therapist which has been helpful when navigating the therapy and early intervention world. Most of all, Catherine states David’s brothers and sisters adore him. In fact, during the interview, an older sibling was lovingly holding David and entertaining him. They enjoy attending his appointments and are actively engaged in the success he achieves. They family has taken David in as one of their own, regardless of his disabilities. Together, they are stronger and cannot imagine their lives without him.

The Austin Family consists of:

Parents: Tim and Catherine Austin Children: Laura-15, James-12, Thomas-9, Caroline-8 (adopted in 2011), Benjamin-5 (adopted in 2013), and David-2 (adopted in 2016)


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