Tristin Hursey



In an effort to create a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we have created this "Faces For Autism" blog. Here, you can share an in depth, no holds barred look into the day to day triumphs, struggles and real world stories not only from individuals with Autism but also you; the people in their lives that support them.

Every face is a different story and we would like to encourage YOU to send us yours.

This weeks story was submitted by Alicia Townsend and her wonderful family!


Hello, and thank you for taking an interest in my son. 

This is his story:

"Tristin was born 10 weeks early at 3lbs. He was in the hospital for almost 4 weeks, as well as a blood transfusion the morning of birth. Tristin was also born with "Right Fibular Hemophilia" and a clef arm (2 fingers, no Ulna, short forearm and a hyper extended wrist). Due to his Right Fibular Hemophilia, his left leg grows faster than his right, which then causes his knees to "knock." When Tristin was born, we seen 8 specialists for all his conditions. At 4 months old, he had his first surgery - double hernia surgery. Then, at a year and a half, he went under again for his hand surgery. He had a bone stuck between his two fingers that was stopping him from holding anything. The doctors think the bone that was removed, was a start to his pointer finger, that never grew. 
Then at age 2 1/2, he went under again for a toe amputation and foot reconstruction. Tristin was also born with webbed toes on his right foot. Now, he's left with 9 toes altogether. 

At age 4, Tristin was diagnosed with Autism. His overall abilities were at a 16 month level. At that moment, we made a decision to enroll him in a school for kids with Autism - Step by Step Academy, in Worthington, Ohio. Tristin had intensive ABA Therapy (36 hours/week). When Tristin arrived home, he also had therapy at home as well with a Behavior Consultant that practiced programming in our home. In the 3 years Tristin attended SBSA, he learned to communicate efficiently, maintain his composure, coping skills and many other skills that he so desperately needed. 

At age 8, Tristin went under again for a double knee surgery at Shriner's Hospital, in Lexington, KY. His legs were cased from foot to hip for 3 weeks. This surgery as to correct and straighten his knees. Then 18 months later, we went through another knee surgery to take a screw out to allow his inner knees to grow again. 
2 years ago, we enrolled Tristin in the "iCanBike" through "iCanShine." This program was a 5 day program for kids with disabilities that taught them how to ride a bike (pictures are provided). He now rides a 2-wheeled bike on his own and loves every minute of it. 

In all this time, Tristin was also learning how to cope with, not only his physical disabilities, but his Autism as well. He enrolled back into public School, on an IEP. He was placed in a typical classroom with typical peers, in which he learned skills from those peers that he would have never learned at the school for kids with Autism. Tristin was re-evaluated a year ago and scored a 112 IQ. He is completely verbal, not aggressive, receives all A's and B's in typical classes in 6th grade, plays in the Middle school band and played for the school's youth basketball team and a member of 4-H shooting Club. He works hard and does his best. If it weren't' for ABA Therapy, my son would have to round the clock care and many upon many therapies. He is fully independent on everything, from grooming to doing homework on his own. He loves to camp, fish, shoot firearms (a member of 4-H Shooting sports) and play with friends. Tristin is a VERY social kid and doesn't know a stranger. In one week from today, Tristin will undergo his last surgery (hopefully his last) - Children's Hospital is lengthening Tristin's leg in a 4 month process. This will be the largest, most severe surgery he will undergo. This surgery will correct his crooked ankle, lengthen his right leg by almost 1 inch (stretching his Tibia bone) and correct his knees again. Due to his knees bowing in again (knock knees), his kneecap is popping out of place, and has already almost fallen down our stairs as it pops out of place unexpectedly. 

ABA Therapy is the best method of teaching anyone could offer a child with ASD. Thanks to this scientific proven therapy, I have my son back. My son will be able to live on his own one day, drive a vehicle and be completely independent when he graduates high school. Not to mention, he wants to go to college for Computer technology. 
Thank you again for your interest in my son's story".

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