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Who I Am & What I Am

My name is Michael McCartney Wind, I was born on December 29th, 1991 in Richmond, Virginia. My autism was diagnosed weeks after my second birthday 20 years ago. My parents tried whatever they can to help me become more verbal just like the others in the real world. I was non-verbal until the age of 5, I learned 2 to 3 word simple sentences. I didn't know that I was diagnosed with Autism until I was 16 years old. My mother and father once told me that Autism is basically not a good or bad thing, it's just a thing.

But here are a few true special things about me that you'll learn to love though:

I sing the hit songs of Frank Sinatra and other favorites live. I've began my debut as a Sinatra performer on November 18, 2005 at the middle school's variety show in Shoreham-Wading River High School. I perform those hits where ever I can in Long Island, such as dinner parties, birthday parties, retirement homes and even fire departments. They always tell me I sound a lot like Sinatra when it comes to singing.

Also, I work in the mailroom in New York City. I began that job on July 2nd, 2012. I was very nervous on the first day because I felt like I was going to screw up badly. But I always got a lot of help from my dad, my mailroom boss, and the rest of the co-workers I work with in the big apple. Now it's been a year and a half since I've been here, and I enjoy making progress with the rest of the people in the world.

So look at me now, 20 years after being diagnosed with Autism, I'm still talkative, full of spirits and always singing my heart out! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I'm certain that your children with autism will have a great story of their own and a great future!

Michael McCartney Wind
Hauppauge, NY

My brother, my inspiration

Hi, my name is Jennifer. A lot of my inspiration comes from my brother, David, who has Autism. Everyday I strive to be a better person because of him. When we were kids he was always ridiculed and I always vowed to protect him and I always have! Yes, he's not perfect, but he's David.

David is a sweet, funny, loving man that I am honored everyday to call my brother. He loves Star Wars & Star Trek and loves me to death & loves my 3 children (whom all adore him). Because of him my children know that it's not OK to bully or tease because words hurt. Even though David may not be able to express a lot of things, though he is high functioning, he has taught me so many things about life & about myself. I have a huge heart for everyone! Though we don't live in the same house anymore, I try to see him as often as I can & when I do visit I love the huge hugs and kisses that I receive! Nothing warms my heart more, other than my children! He's an absolute joy to have as a brother and I wouldn't want a different one EVER! Thank you, David for being such a HUGE part of who I am and who I am striving to be! I LOVE YOU!

Love Today, Tomorrow & Always your big sister,

Jennifer

Jennifer Hull
Crystal Lake, IL

Touched By Grace

Our lives were forever changed in 1996 when my daughter Grace was born. After having 2 sons it felt great to have a female in the family to do girlie things with for a change. For the first year of her life I took an assortment of pictures (almost daily) to capture her growth. As a result I noticed she was not developing as other children her age. Imagine my surprise, at the age of 1 1/2 to find out my concerns wasn’t just my imagination but something I’d never heard of before, Autism. After doing research I also discovered autism typically affected boys so this diagnosis bewildered me. However, I also knew I didn’t have time for a petty party. Therefore I went into a different type of “Mommy Mode”. It was my responsibility to do whatever it took to seek and provide her with the care she deserved. Working toward her independence was very important to me, because she’s worthy of my best and the best life had to offer. Getting her the proper education was one source but sensory therapy was the best remedy in aiding with her development. Not only have I’ve been touched by Grace but many others have as well. She’s constantly smiling and entering others space, which warrants me pulling her back because not everyone can take her type of warmth. I’m constantly asked, “Is she always this happy”? The answer, “Yes, unless she’s sick”. When I look back over the past 18 years of her life I see a strong vibrant young lady. She still prefers to use one word sentences but I still encourage her to use more. Her strongest attribute is responding to verbal commands, meaning she learns through a process called auditory learning. Thank God, for blessing me with the awesome responsibility of raising one of His angels. I’ve cried many tears but I can’t stay there for long simply because I have work to do for this Jewel I’ve been blessed with. Every day of her life I continue to pray for her to be blessed beyond measure.

LaGatha F
Baton Rouge, LA

Touched By Grace

Our lives were forever changed in 1996 when my daughter Grace was born. After having 2 sons it felt great to have a female in the family to do girlie things with for a change. For the first year of her life I took an assortment of pictures (almost daily) to capture her growth. As a result I noticed she was not developing as other children her age. Imagine my surprise, at the age of 1 1/2 to find out my concerns wasn’t just my imagination but something I’d never heard of before, Autism. After doing research I also discovered autism typically affected boys so this diagnosis bewildered me. However, I also knew I didn’t have time for a petty party. Therefore I went into a different type of “Mommy Mode”. It was my responsibility to do whatever it took to seek and provide her with the care she deserved. Working toward her independence was very important to me, because she’s worthy of my best and the best life had to offer. Getting her the proper education was one source but sensory therapy was the best remedy in aiding with her development. Not only have I’ve been touched by Grace but many others have as well. She’s constantly smiling and entering others space, which warrants me pulling her back because not everyone can take her type of warmth. I’m constantly asked, “Is she always this happy”? The answer, “Yes, unless she’s sick”. When I look back over the past 18 years of her life I see a strong vibrant young lady. She still prefers to use one sentences but I still encourage her to use more. Her strongest attribute is responding to verbal commands, meaning she learns through a process called auditory learning. Thank God, for blessing me with the awesome responsibility of raising one of His angels. Yes, I’ve cried many tears but I can’t stay there for long simply because I have work to do for this Jewel I’ve been blessed with. Every day of her life I continue to pray for her to be blessed beyond measure.

LaGatha F
Baton Rouge, LA

Tommy

I was still in the hospital holding my newborn son when the doctor asked me what I had named him. "Thomas Joseph Marcello," I proudly answered. "Thomas Joseph Marcello," she repeated, nodding her head and smiling, "that sounds like the name of a president!" My son, I glowed inwardly, a president. Why not? The possibilities were endless for my baby!

The official diagnosis came three years later, but I had come to know it in my heart before I heard it spoken by the professionals- autism. I was beyond devastated. The life I had envisioned for my child was not going to happen. And so began years of research, therapies, meltdowns, Boardmaker pictures, and watching my son grow up alongside his typically developing peers in a manner that was most untypical. In one of my searches for support on the internet I found an anonomous quote that truly changed my perspective. "Love me for who I am instead of wondering what I might have been like." I let go of the concept of who I wanted my son to be and began to focus only on who he actually was.

What I came to realize is that my son Tommy is truly special. He has a heart of gold and a smile that warms the room. He exudes happiness and makes everyone around him smile. Tommy makes improvements every day because he always tries his best. He has earned the respect of his teachers and therapists. I wish I was half as popular as he!

I admire the young man he has become and I am so grateful to be his mother. While "Thomas Joseph Marcello" may never be the name of a president, this proud mother maintains that the possibilities are still endless for her son!

Deb Marcello
Cranston, RI

My Blessing

Isaac was born April 2nd 2008, What was supposed to be a "NORMAL" child birth turned into more then i could have handled, he was born a preemie which was NOT expected, and at 4 lbs 6 oz, he was more then i could have asked for. BUT like any other mother i worried, and knew something was not right. After many days in the hospital, being on every machine for feeding and breathing and everything in between, finally Isaac was able to come home. I was so excited and ready to begin life with my baby boy, but little did i know Isaac had a different idea, and that was to take me on a ride and test every step of the way. I always knew something was not right, he was't growing the same as other kids, his speech was never there, he was not social, he didn't want my hugs and would never look me in the eyes. Of course i started thinking "Ok what did i do wrong" and as more time went on and the more research i did, everything kept leading me back to the same thing "AUTISM" i was not ready to believe it and I took alot of the blame but i never stopped loving my baby boy, It took alot of hard work and powerful prayers to get to the place we are now, Isaac is 5 years old and healthy, strong and learning more and more as each day goes by.

Isaac is what some would call a "AUTISTIC SAVANT" he loves to put things in order by shape, number and color, his memory is so superior, it is his special skill.

Although Isaac does not speak and has no vocabulary, it does not stop him from being able to tell you about him self, he is able to express his moods and his wants and needs. You will never know just by looking at him that he is different but once he opens his heart to you nothing else matter's

He is my Blessing and i am thankful.

Erlinda Valenzuela
Laveen, AZ

My Blessing

Hello my name is Wendy .I am actually a Mom and a Grandma.I adopted my angel that is 5 yrs old now back in 2010.I knew something was not quite right him and had a gut feeling he was Autistic.So I finally got the diagnosis that he was indeed Autistic.I wasn't surprised ,but was very surprised with the other diagnosis they diagnosed him with .I don't care what my angel has .I will love him no matter what.He has taught me a lot ..He is a very smart boy .He knows his alphabet,numbers,colors,shapes and he aslo can read .Brayden is his name but computer and technology is his game.He can go anywhere he wants on a computer ;I am very proud to call him my son ...,In life we can learn from our angels that god has put in front of us.Brayden has several diagnosis .But I have learnt what true love is .I WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING.Teaching him how to sign was hard but his speech therapist was awesome.I am very blessed and very thankful that god gave me such a precious gift to love and learn from .It has been rough at times but I am here to tackle on all...I stand up for Autism ...I speak for Autism.We are going to still shine.....We can do this it may be a challenge but just look at how much we are learning ....I want to learn all there is about Autism and how I may be able to help another family that might be having issues like Brayden .Just watch for signs hand flapping.toe walking,not responding to their name ,rocking,Brayden's biggest thing was everything had to be in order lined up .Could not move it at all .He would have a meltdown..I am so thankful I got to share my story with you .Getting the word out may help someone else ....We all are here for one another .That is Circle of Autism group needs to started with a facebook page .Where everyone joins together and share their stories .Helping one another get though really tough Challenges..<3

Wendy
Lowgap, NC

30 and Asperger's

My name is as complex as Asperger's Spectrum

Long story short I'm 30 and has Asperger's and I think this is just how I was made, I found out what Asperger's is when I was 29 but have been living with it since I was a child, not the ordinary child, the getting my "willie" caught between the metal zippers for crying out loud "child" the my brother calls me "zoolander" child.

Life has been an interesting journey I have been most fortunate also have had some pretty serious times, it's an ongoing process just like "Asperger's Syndrome" - who really knows?

My family are new to it, my partner learns as best as I can,

everyday is a learning curve every turn is somewhat of a new discovery

I have a short story to tell today, but for anyone who can cares to explain or share more I say it will not go unappreciated, it may sound sad but to cope and deal with what Asperger's experience, can be somewhat difficult explain

I am 30 years old and my experiences are as many or more in the Syndrome list, I truly hope the parents and carers to all who understand or are trying to understand knows that we are all listening, we al can see, that if I see then somebody else must see,

it is a journey and the road may seem long and difficult, you must never lose hope.

From, a carer, friend, brother, son.

Anonymous
Sydney, Australia

Brian Patrick Inline Skates Across America - and Back

Brian Patrick became the 3rd person in U.S. history to skate (via Rollerblades) across America. If that wasn't enough, he became the first to skate back. When Brian skated back from Long Beach, CA to Jacksonville, FL, he did it in record fashion of 44 days. However, you will not find this in any record books. Why? Because Brian did not file the paperwork. "It is not about me or how fast or how far I can go. It is about helping the Community that I am so proud to be part of."

Brian skated over 7,000 miles for Autism Awareness and met with over 120 parents that for the first time have a child on the Spectrum. Brian sat with them and through his experiences of having two children on the Spectrum explained how their lives were about to change - for the best. Brian himself is on the Spectrum with Aspergers. "I have a voice so there becomes an expectation that I help because in the end, doing nothing is not the same as doing something."

Brian skated on his own with nothing more than his backpack. Day after day, he stopped and spoke to thousands of people to promote a Cause so close to his heart. Brian has done interviews for radio, newspapers, CBS, NBC and ABC. Presently, Brian's a speaker and advocate for the Autistic Community. Brian just finished the manuscript for his first children's book entitled 'Brianne's Diary.' It's about a little blue rhino named Aodhán who is tired of feeling alone - and different so he sets out on an epic adventure with a monkey on his back named Melvin. Aodhán keeps a diary for his best friend Brianne who Aodhán doesn't tell that he's leaving on a 'little Journey.' The book isn't about Autism - it is about being different which EVERYONE can relate to. So simple.

In all of this there becomes a question: What have you - what have I done for our Community today? Well, Brian Patrick skated over 7,000 miles to help anyone affiliated to the Spectrum.

Malissa Roach
Odessa, TX

the Journey of JoJo

Day one, diagnosis I knew would becoming but not really prepared

Day two... bed

Day three... bed

Day four... out of bed, its time to fight for my child

Side note JoJo is a twin to a neurotypical brother

Several weeks later speech, occupational, and behavioral therapies all set up

Months and months no progress

At age 3 they move him to elementary school

I am terrified!

Week 2.....and heres where it begins, he brings me to a wall in the class with the alphabet and starts reciting it... WHAT? This child has not said a word since 18 months

JoJo is 5 now and WOW!

I pray for and thank those wonderful teachers every night in my prayers!

I can go on and on but the lesson here is find the ones who truly love what they do for our kids and the rest will find a way!

Anonymous
ormond beach, FL
Why this ad? Why this ad? Why this ad? Gregs Autism Awareness Tricolor Shoes
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