This is Max. He is 5 years old, and has severe Cerebral Palsy. Even though he doesn't have Autism, we would still like to celebrate him during this month. When I first met Max over a year ago he couldn't even sit up on his own. He depended on others to move him around and help him do everything; even small things that you and I take for granted. Over the past year, he has been seen by a hard working team of physical therapists at the St Joseph's Catholic Church twice a week. Two weeks ago, we help a Social Butterfly Event at ISK, just look at the pictures of Max below. He is playing on a playground almost on his own for the first time in his life. Being there to see the bright smile on his face was enough to bring most of us to tears. Tears of joy of course. Here's to Max and his determination to beat his diagnosis.
April is Autism Awareness Month. During this month we would like to post stories and photos about different children whom we have encountered during our journey.
Our first story is about a young man named John. John is 22 years old. During all of my years working with children and adults with special needs, I have never met one that is so happy and full of life. This man is truly a joy to be around. I've never seen him without a smile on his face.
John used to be very different. When he was younger his mother had a hard time controlling him at home. It got to the point where John and his mother couldn't leave the house. He is now on the gluten/cassein free diet and has since then calmed down. He has very few verbal skills, and depends on others to do most of his daily activities. About 6 months ago, ASCK helped to find John a part time job. No one ever thought he would be able to work, now he is working about 12 to 16 hours a week and his earning his own paycheck. John holds a part time position at Kahesa Paper, he makes beautiful paper products from recycled materials such as banana trees and rice straw. When he first started he wasn't able to follow directions, and his motor skills were poor. 6 months later, he can now put on his own shoes, cut banana trees on his own with scissors, follow instructions, and knows the daily routine at work. His bosses and coworkers say he is a blast to work beside. Just look at the pictures below of John doing a great job at work!
I love to see the children with whom I work smile; when they smile, I smile. These children are our future, it’s important to give them a solid foundation on which to build their lives.