Michael and I were married for 41 beautiful, adventurous years. In that time we created a loving family and a foundation that I could not be more proud of. It all started in room 238 of a hospital in Miami. Michael was a pediatrician, I was a nurse, and we were both natural caregivers who would do anything for our patients. We fell in love with each other and our matching dedication to helping sick children. We soon married in 1975 and had two children. However, there were multiple complications during the pregnancies and it wasn’t going to be possible to create the large family we wanted naturally, so we adopted our third child, Darlene, in 1986. Darlene wasn’t just any child. She was a tiny, cute little baby who happened to have Down syndrome, a severe mental handicap, and we later learned was nonverbal and legally deaf. read more →

 

There is a kid in my class with Autism. I had 3 movie cards so I gave him 10 dollars on a movie card. I also gave another one to my other friend and I still have one left. The kid with Autism was really happy and made a Thank You card for me. Also, he gave me a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day that he only gave to his “special friends”. – Paul

When I dropped my son Joey back at his residency this evening, there was another boys father that was walking in the hallway. When Joey saw him, he shouted out his name and said, “I want chicken nuggets from McDonald’s!” The dad walked into Joey’s room, introduced himself to me, and told me that for a while now when he would drop off his son, he would also bring Joey nuggets from McDonald’s, so of course, Joey asked him for some! Lol. I had no idea that something like this was going on. read more →

When my daughter went right up to a lady she didn’t know and patted her giant teddy bear at The Show last night, I jumped into smile an apology and pull her back. My daughter is on the autism spectrum and struggles to see things from other people’s point of view, so didn’t realise that she was being a bit rude. read more →

Meet Doggie, my sons (15) beloved BFF. He has had this since he was 7 months old. He has dived out of bed and cut his forehead open and flung himself down the stairs (with no injury thank god) to ‘save’ this toy. He has sat in front of the washing machine watching him go round and then taken up residence in front of the radiator to watch him dry. read more →

The other day during Joseph’s home visit, while he was waiting for his sister to get a wagon ride, he looked at me and said, “YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT IN LIFE AND TAKE TURNS!” as he was pacing back and forth. He has come a long way to say that, in the past, he would have had a meltdown if he didn’t get what he wanted right way! He is maturing right before my eyes, and trying very hard to control his impulses and anxiety!! read more →

My daughter Brianna is 11 years old and just graduated from elementary school. She’s four years younger than her brother Joseph but always has been like a “big sister” to him because of his Autism.

BriannaShe had an assignment at school to write about something she would change in the world to make it a better place and right away she thought about her brother. She’s so keen to make people more aware about Autism. It was all her idea as is the wording in her story! read more →

For a while now I’ve tucked dollar bills into the sunglasses compartment in my truck. It makes it easy to grab one and hand it to our friends on the street corners.

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Many people believe that children and adults with autism don’t always show empathy. Some don’t, or very little, but there are a lot that do, sometimes even more than the “typical” person. read more →

My son Jaden is 9 and loves trash cans, his sister Kiera and his cat Jacky. He has the biggest heart, always thinking about how he can help someone. read more →

Joseph1Hello, my son, Joseph is a 15-year-old boy with Autism. He was diagnosed at the age of two when there wasn’t enough awareness like there is today, and still in need of more!

He is bright, pretty verbal, friendly, funny, lovable, and my inspiration! He inspires me, and so many others that have entered his life! Besides from having autism, he also has high anxiety disorder behavioral and sensory issues. He truly is a fighter! He fights to fit into society each and every day despite having these extremely challenging issues! read more →

WayneI met an amazing man called Greg today.

He told me of the day 10 years ago that he’d been held up at gun point in his pizza store and lost his will to interact with his customers. He was so disappointed that this young man was so lost that he’d turned to crime and felt he’d lost the love, trust and faith he had in others.

Had this young man even thought about the affect his act of violence would have on Greg or his business? Did he realize how it would change Greg’s life? read more →