One of the first things I learned about Josh was that he loved to spend time by the water. When Renee, Josh’s mom, asked if we could do some photos outside, next to a frozen Lake Michigan, I jumped at the chance. What an afternoon! Josh kept us all moving with his brisk pace – and his older brother Ben and his therapist Alexandra, joined us for the fun as well.
Joshua’s Story, as told by his mother:
One of the greatest challenges for us is seeing Joshua struggle with communication. As imaginable, not having a mode of response can be extremely frustrating. Josh knows exactly what he wants and needs, but being nonverbal, is often unable to tell us in a way we’d understand. Thanks to RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) Josh is working his way towards spelling out his frustrations, wants, and even sweet thoughts that have been bottled up inside his mind. At a recent RPM session Joshua was able to tell me “thank you mom for believing in me.” It’s nice to hear that he appreciates and is aware of the how much love and support I have for him.
At 11 years old, Joshua is blossoming into an independent young adult with the help of his Autism Service Dog, Hooligan. Josh can have a sense of independence now when out in the community without his mom needing to have a death grip on his arm for fear of him fleeing away.
Being a part of our local Autism support group, Autism Solution Pieces, has also given us many opportunities for social interactions and adventures. Skating, Brewer’s games, holiday parties, and swimming are events we enjoying doing with our autism families.
Joshua still has many bridges ahead to cross. With support from groups like ASP, in-home therapists, therapies like RPM, and older brothers the journey ahead is one to look forward to.
Renee, mother of Joshua
Please visit the official Stories of Autism website to read more stories of families on the spectrum.
The 2014 Stories of Autism gallery is now available!