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Why I Walk: The Scenic Route 

Thursday, September 12, 2013 View Comments

This guest blog is by Stephanie Coon. Stephanie walks for Kansas City Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Interested in learning more about the walks? Go to for more information!

For myself, for my son, for everyone impacted by Autism.  My journey down the Autism path started the Fall of 2005.  My happy sweet outgoing 4 year old started to turn into a shy, timid little boy.  In March 2006 we took him out of preschool and his father home schooled him for a month.  Nothing changed, so back to preschool.  This time I had a plan, and made an appointment for him at the University of Kansas Child Development center for an evaluation.

The appointment in July 2005 took 4.5 hours.  They did a full physical work up, gave him every test possible.  At the initial evaluation the report was ADHD and possibly on the Autism spectrum.  However, we’d have to wait a month to get the official results.  In August 2005, 2 weeks before he was to start Kindergarten, we got the report stating he was on the spectrum, PDD-NOS, and was ADHD.

In the matter of a few days I went through the 7 steps of the grieving process.  I was grieving for the child I thought we had and all those hopes and dreams I had for that child.  However, I realized he’s still the same child and I can still have those same hopes and dreams.  Rather than the straight and narrow path we get to take the road less traveled.  I call it the scenic route.  It’ll still get us where we, and he, needs to go, but we’re just taking a little longer to get there.  Good thing I’ve always been up for an adventure!

This is my son Tyler, 8 years old, now.  He’s in third grade in a regular classroom.  He’s got a few accommodations in place to help when he needs them.  He still has issues with social situations and learning social cues, but he does have friends who have accepted him for who he is and a family that loves and supports him.

Why do you walk? Tell us your story at! If you would like to walk with our community as part of Walk Now for Autism Speaks go here to see if there is a walk in your area!


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The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.