My youngest brother, Joseph, was born in the summer of 2009 and we were absolutely overjoyed with the new addition to our family.
As the years went on, my family and I began to notice minimal progress with Joseph’s speech and cognitive abilities. By the time he reached four years old, my sweet baby brother still had difficulty formulating words that were neurotypical for other children at his same age. After multiple trips to different doctors, several therapists, and a multitude of possible theories, Joseph was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Immediately, we enrolled him in services through his current school and weekly speech therapy. This has helped him tremendously with communication and completely changed our lives during an uncertain time. It has also motivated us to act on our vision of a more accessible world, inclusive of education and resources, for children with different abilities.
Unfortunately, we have experienced situations in which we faced obstacles during our search for suitable education due to my brother’s condition. My predominant hope is that other children like Joseph are able to access the resources needed to live healthy, fulfilling, extraordinary lives they are just as worthy of deserving as anybody else.
That reason precisely is why my family and I are participating in the Fraser Walk for Autism. We walk because we fully support Fraser and their commitment to awareness, educating others about autism and their relentless pursuit to ensure equal opportunity and access for all individuals with different abilities. My family and I will always make it our mission to advocate for Joseph, for children in special education, and for all children so that they always have the opportunity of living out their dreams.
He is the light of my life. I’ll take him as the funny, silly, cartoon expert and Paw Patrol enthusiast, exactly how he is, every day, in every lifetime.
- Jesenia Eduarte