When I knew: "As a baby and into his toddler years, Steele didn't speak very much. He babbled, but it was impossible to understand him. My husband and I understood him better than most, but strangers couldn't understand him at all. He missed milestones, but our pediatrician told us he was just a late bloomer. At a glance, Steele looked like a normal 3-year-old. He was our first child, so we didn't realize how many verbal and social skills he was lacking. A friend of mine in the education field had met Steele many times and asked me if he had ever been tested for autism. As soon as she said it, I knew that's what it was. Something deep inside me knew it. I just had to hear it. We started all of the testing and got on the 3-month waiting list to see the pediatric neurologist." -- Steele's mom Cathy, Texas
Recent victory: "He enjoys reading, science, art classes, and sports and has formed friendships with many of his classmates. He loves going to movies, concerts, NASCAR races and even rides roller coasters. What a brave little guy!"