This is a picture of my son, Joshua. He's nearing 30, but his mind works like someone much younger.
Josh has what some have referred to as "Classic Autism". What that means is that he is not just on the Autism spectrum, but has severe Autism. That's not taking anything away from anyone who cares for a child with Asperger's or any other disorder that is on the spectrum...God love you!
Life with Josh has been a challenge, for him and for me and everyone in our family. He has been living in group homes since he was 10 years old, because the behavioral aspects of his Autism cause him to act out on occasion and there is never a warning that these behaviors will come along.
I have never been able to sit down and have a regular conversation with Josh, like the ones you have with your children. Like the ones I have with my daughters. Josh doesn't communicate like us. He speaks, which is not the case in many individuals with Autism, and for that I am happy. But, his speech will generally consist of one to three words repeated.
I love my son just as much as I would if he didn't have Autism and I long for the day that there will be a better understanding of what causes Autism and what parents can do to avoid their children developing it at a very early age.
That's why I hope you'll come out to the local Autism Speaks Walk at the West Palm Beach Meyer Amphitheater on Sunday. I'll be at the Kool 105.5 tent near the starting line if you'd like to ask me more about Josh. I love talking about him and sharing any information I can for anyone wanting to learn more about Autism or concerned that their loved one may have it.
The opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m., but registration for the walk starts at 9 a.m. if you wait until you get there.
Click Here to register online.