2013 SPA FINALIST - Carolyn Van Houten

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"Things that wouldn't bother us might set him off completely," Erin O'Loughlin said.  "A lot of it is because of overstimulation and sensory issues.  So, we wind up looking for what makes him happy and what makes him tick--whats good for his reality and his world--and then we foster that."  Her son, Marcus O'Loughlin, 8, was diagnosed with severe autism at three years.  Autism is a developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in the first three years of a child's life.  It affects the neurological development of social and communication skills.  This is the story of how Marcus' autism has affected his family's daily life. ..Marcus plays in an inflatable bounce house during a Carolina RailHawks soccer game at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.