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“That’s Our Sam” vBy Linda Wuebben Happiness is helping dad and big brother put together a new patio set and being the best helper they can ask for. “That’s our Sam – always with a big yes and never a complaint when we need help around the house,” mom Amy Johnson said. Sam’s family includes mom Amy, a native of Yankton and employed at First National Bank; father Jeff who has been a police officer here in Yankton for 21 years, and two siblings Hannah and Jacob. But life is not always so rosy for 11-year-old Sam. Day-to-day, Sam deals with Autism, specifically Asperger’s Disorder. “We had him tested when he was about five years old, in junior kindergarten and they suspected he would probably be on the spectrum,” Amy said. In addition, Sam was very hyperactive and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It didn’t surprise the couple as Sam’s older brother Jacob was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in fourth grade and Sam seemed to have the same tendencies and behavioral concerns as 17-year-old Jacob. The couple thought they probably didn’t recognize these issues when Jacob was that young. The Yankton School District took Sam through two days of testing because although he was high-functioning he was hyperactive and had trouble with socialization Amy said. Sam was always a well-behaved child, but he always had a very narrow view of what was going on around him. His view was all that mattered and often had one-sided conversations, talking about what he wanted to talk about and didn’t interact with others. “If Sam liked Legos, he talked about Legos, no matter what else was going on,” Johnson said. “He struggled with social cues from adults like moving on to another topic which he doesn’t recognize.” Tantrums were never in Sam’s wheelhouse, but he is a very particular person and creature of habit. Amy said changing his A Little Bit Of Everything... ita’s R ies e–o–Nalit Purs 6vHERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 • Home Decor • Re-purposed Furniture • Beautiful Floral Arrangements • Custom Furniture Painting Featuring an additional 3,000 sq. ft. of home decor in Rita’s Decor Den! n Yankto .com ntown alities ., Dow -n t . 3rd S purse-o 219 W • www.ritas 2 0-836 605-26

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