Aaron was born in 1996 very happy and healthy boy. Up until the age of 2 1/2 he was developing normally. You could consider him very advanced. He spoke in full sentence, sang songs, and ate almost anything. He was on time with every milestone. We were on time with all his baby shots and then it was time for the MMR. Directly after his MMR, Aaron become very ill, at which point we had to hospitalize him for almost two weeks lifeless. He had several seizures, high fevers, and couldn’t hold anything down. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with him. They feared he would not survive he was so weak. Fortunately, the fever subsided and he begun to get better. After he came home from the hospital, we noticed a lot of changes in Aaron. He had regressed severely. He would cry a lot. He wanted to play alone. He lost all speech and eye contact he stopped eating certain foods and textures. At the age of three he was diagnosed Autistic and had Landau Kleffner.
We are often told that Autistics do not like or avoid human contact and are unaffectionate, in that respect Aaron is different. He has always loved to be held and kissed. When we first learned Aaron had Autism, we thought no way, what did we do wrong? But after much research and reading everything we could get our hands on, attending scores of conferences, you learn all you can about Autism from doctors, books, websites, advocates and others parents as well as support groups like ASA and more. All the while you’re trying to help your child. We accepted Aaron for who he is. He always has a smile on his face. He is always singing and dancing. When Aaron walks into a room, he makes you smile, he has become tall and handsome with big blue eyes and is always eager to greet everyone. He has many qualities, which makes him special.
After much therapy and care, Aaron has improved tremendously. For eight years straight he went to therapy after school 5 days a week twice a day with mom running around from place to place. As he got older his therapies had to change, it’s all trial and error with Autism, you never really know what’s going to work. Mom always says “You have to give up a lot to get a lot”. Now Aaron is 20 years old and he is verbal and tries his best to have conversations. Aaron attended public school for many years until he went into High school then he got chased by teachers and hit by a car that started him having seizures again and now he is medical home bound schooling. Aaron loves to go outside, play at parks, swim, amusement parks, fairs, horseback riding, track and field and hangout with his friends he has made from school. Aaron even did Special Olympics one year winning second place in the one hundred yard dash with little to no training the first year. Aaron came in 2nd place again and was featured in the front page of the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper in South Florida. Aaron has performed in horseback riding shows and won Best of Show. Aaron is a genius on the computer as well as his IPad and a real pro on video games. He especially loves his two younger brothers Seth 18 and Chase who is 10. Seth has helped him reach a lot of his goals and using the buddy system when they were younger and he will continue to be there for his brother as they get older. His youngest brother Chase is very close to him understanding his needs and has so much patients with him. Chase has been instrumental in bringing out a lot of speech in Aaron and they play together all the time and his biggest helper when he has seizures.
We believe that through Autism awareness, and proper funding, all autistic children can receive early intervention therapy that can help them be productive members of society and can live a fulfilling life. Assistance is so important for families with autistic children who so desperately need help. In Florida we have the largest waiting list for services. This is why we launched the Puzzle Place Foundation after mom volunteered for 7 years as the Secretary of the Florida Autism Society. She knew parents needed help and friendship. Because Aaron has received assistance early he has developed greatly. Aaron can read, write and do arithmetic all because proper guidance with teachers and therapist. Autism puts a lot of stress and strain on families. Everyday we continue to work hard on Aaron so he may live a full and prosperous life, which every child deserves. As for our family we stay close and learn to support each other daily.