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Alabama Public Television Young Heroes of 2002

Hunter Agee

Cottondale, Alabama
Holt High School

After undergoing many tests, and repeated misdiagnoses, it was not until the 6th grade that Hunter's parents, teachers and doctors finally found a diagnosis that fit. He was diagnosed with a form of autism called Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). This form of autism not only affects motor skills and information processing but also social and behavioral skills. Up to this point, Hunter's speech was unintelligible, and expressing himself verbally became at times insurmountable. Through lots of hard work with his parents, he has worked to overcome this obstacle. Though Hunter's speech is still somewhat delayed, doctors at one time thought he would never be able to attain an intelligible speech pattern. Today, Hunter is quite the conversationalist, favoring a discussion of University of Alabama football above all.

Through all of his hardship as a boy, Hunter found his way to Christianity at the age of 16. He began corresponding with the Christian Foundation. Without his parents knowing, Hunter was saving his lunch money each day for tithing, feeling that the Christian Foundation needed the money more than he needed lunch. His parents only found out after receiving acknowledgment of Hunter's $300 pledge in the mail. The same year, Hunter would read his first book. He read the entire Harry Potter series and now reads his Bible every day. Next year, Hunter will enter the 12th grade at Holt High School. He plans to graduate and continue his education. Hunter's mother says, "he is a role model for other children who have been burdened with adversities and limits, and have had labels attached to them."

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