Because there were no helicopters available, we had to transport Evan to the Los Angeles hospital by ambulance. It was a three-hour car ride and in that time he had another seizure. At the hospital he had seven more seizures within a seven-hour period and after two days of being there and wondering what was going on, they came to me with the diagnosis of epilepsy. My instinct was screaming, "There's more, there's more!" I decided to get a second opinion and met with one of the best neurologists in the world. He politely put his hand on me and said, "I'm sorry, your son has autism."
I died in that moment but my instincts told me that this man was right. All those beautiful characteristics that I thought were Evan—the hand flapping, the toe walking, the playing with door hinges and lining up toys—weren't Evan characteristics at all. Who was my son if he wasn't all these things? The neurologist saw the look on my face and said to me, "Hey, this is the same little boy you came in this room with. He's not any different. He's the same boy." I looked at the doctor and replied, "No, he's not. My son is trapped inside this label called autism and I'm gonna get him out."