Crusading for their child...and others with autism

Cael Wesselink and his family share their story about autism in recognition of National Autism Awareness Month. Photo by Les Houser

On July 29, 2002, Kent and Angela Wesselink gave birth to their third child - a boy, Cael. He was a sweet baby, adored by his parents and as his two older brothers. But as the days turned into two months, Angela started to notice a few differences.

“He didn’t wave...or smile like his brothers did at that age,” she recalled. “He would gain a skill, and then lose it. If he had been our first baby I don’t know that I would have really even thought about it.”

She noticed other differences as well. He didn’t like it when she sang to him or snuggled him. He was an easy-going baby...until company would come over and then he cried until they left. So Angela took him to his pediatrician and expressed her concerns. Was it autism? The doctor told her they would have to wait. Testing can not be done until a baby is at least 18 months old.

Over the course of the next year, Angela said there were times she thought her son was autistic, and then there were times she was sure he was not.

For the full story, see this week's Eagle Grove Eagle. Subscribe by calling 1-800-558-1244 ext 122 or email Deb at or by clicking here