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Being nonverbal for years.

I often tried to have conversations with my peers.

Using body language to bring on communication.

My mind was looking for the right way to tell my parents that I loved them.

When the doctors said I had regressed.

I knew in my heart that I was there.

People sometimes didn’t understand.

While I often didn’t understand the world around me.

When I first started speaking brought new possibilities.

While supports gave me new opportunities.

Getting good grades in school became my motivation.

Being accepted for who I was became an objective.

Because bullying became a difficulty.

Years later even more things I wanted to do became a reality.

And I realized I wanted to become a role model.

That with hard work and determination we can all achieve amazing things.

And for our loved ones we could help them along the way.

With your help we will bring change.

Because with my parents help that nonverbal 2.5 year old boy today is now a national speaker, best-selling author, movie consultant, non-profit founder, television host and full-time employee at Autism Speaks.

We will make a difference.

And when it happens you will be there with us.

It will be because we know that all our loved ones, with or without special needs just want to progress and be the best they can be everyday.

Believe everyday in our community.

Believe in hope. We are learning more about finding the right supports for our loved ones everyday.

Believe in the beauty in our community and finally…

Believe that our loved ones will do anything they set their mind too. My parents always believed in me and we always need someone to believe in us; For every accomplishment, no matter how small. We will give them the supports.

Believe in them…

Always.

*I shared this poem while speaking at the Autism Speaks Southern New Jersey Walk. I’ve been walking with Autism Speaks for the past 9 years after starting in college as an opportunity to meet more people in the autism community. If you are looking to get more involved in the community I’d definitely recommend seeing if there is a walk in your area at www.autismspeakswalk.org. If you ever need a testimonial on how the walks have made an impact in my life you can contact me anytime via my Facebook Page here.*