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Christopher's story

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My name is Christopher Pirner (my mom and dad sometimes call me "Topher"). I'm four, and I have an older brother, Andrew. My mom started bringing me to PACT when I was 2-1/2 because I wasn't picking up speech as well as Andrew had at my age. That's when I started seeing Nina for speech therapy.

Once the PACT staff got to know me better, they found out how afraid I get when I'm in new situations. It's also really upsetting for me to get haircuts or try new clothes, and the PACT staff said they could help me not get so upset. I started seeing an occupational therapist whose name is Ellen, who says I get upset because of something called sensory defensiveness.

I really like coming to see Nina and Ellen. They help me a lot. I'm talking more, and I didn't even feel upset at all last year to wear a Halloween costume. It was the first time I felt comfortable wearing a costume. I was a cowboy.

My mom, whose name is Kathleen Schroeder, brings me to PACT every week, and she works on quilting while she waits for me in the waiting room. She says it helps her relax.

Her quilts are very pretty, and she even won an honorable mention for one she entered in the 2003 International Quilt Festival in Dallas. She's only been quilting for about four years, but she's already made 40 or 50 quilts. She started out making bed quilts, but now she designs and makes the kind you hang on the wall. They're made out of silk fabric that she dyes herself.

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