Peter's Puzzle Solvers
In February of 2014, when Peter was just 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What does it mean to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
This is a very complex answer as no two individuals are exactly the same with an ASD diagnosis. Think of the diagnosis like a fingerprint.
The key word in this diagnosis is “Spectrum”. There are a range of behaviors and special abilities (Yes, we choose to see the amazing and incredible abilities our son and other children with this diagnosis have).
The general explanation offered by Nemours Children’s Hospital is, “Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which means it’s a condition related to the improper development of the neurons in the brain. Children with an autism spectrum disorder develop “unevenly” and have difficulties in communication and social interactions and exhibit repetitive or restrictive behaviors. Very often, these children have exceptional strengths in other areas, such as math, visual processing and musical and artistic abilities (to name a few). Autism spectrum disorder is an active area of research”.
What does Autism mean for Peter?
Peter is not defined by his ASD diagnosis. ASD is a piece of the puzzle that makes him uniquely and beautifully created just as he was meant to be by our Heavenly Father. We truly believe our son is perfect just the way he is and wouldn’t change him for the world.
Peter has to work harder at things you and I wouldn’t think twice about. For example, social queues. When we were younger, and even into adulthood, when we find ourselves in unfamiliar places, we would look at those around us to gain a general idea of whether we should sit, stand, speak, etc. and then would learn from the social queues we see on what “appropriate” behavior should ensue. Peter has to be taught this skill as this natural instinct is not programmed neurologically within him. Our everyday communication and social interactions are skills Peter works hard at learning everyday.
There is so much more Peter works on such as food therapy, core building to increase motor skills and balance and overall developmental skills (to name a few).
Peter receives 25 hours a week of Autism Behavioral Analysis Therapy (ABA) with an outstanding team of therapist at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Through their help, they have helped us place so many pieces of Peter’s puzzle together. Peter is thriving and continues to blow us all away with how quickly he learns.
We have chosen to walk this year so we can continue to bring awareness to the uniqueness that individuals with ASD bring to the world and to share our son so others may gain more of an understanding of ASD. Autism Speaks is a great organization that seeks to research ASD and support ASD families so we may learn and understand more about ASD. We appreciate Autism Speaks because it doesn’t seek to cure our son, who doesn’t need to be cured. ASD is a developmental part of who he is, not a disease.
Ultimately, our journey as a family is not complete without the beautiful, amazing and humbling support we have received from so many family and friends. We would love to invite you to join us to walk in support of our son, his journey with ASD and to help bring further awareness and understanding. It does not cost anything to register and walk. If you would like to make a donation towards Peter’s team and support him and Autism Speaks, we would be appreciative, but it isn’t necessary. Your support in any way, is appreciated. Thank you for being a special part of our life!
Share Your Encouragement
|11/9/2019||Cranes Roost Park~274 Cranes Roost Blvd~Altamonte Springs, FL 32701||9:00am Registration & Check In Opens~10:00am Opening Ceremonies~11:15am After Party at the Stage||Natasha LaMonica 407-483-2282 email@example.com|