This is my son Shamichael, and he has autism. . He was diagnosed at 18, and this diagnosis blindsided us because we were unaware or understood what autism was at that time. We had preconceived notions about autism; what we thought or knew about autism is what they show on TV. Either the person was a genius or obvious about objects. Being premature, Shamichael was developmentally delayed, so he was in and out of the hospital and received physical, occupational, and speech therapy in school. Not one of his therapists said he was autistic; He did not just say. he had a slight learning disability.
When he was a senior in high school, he heard something about autism that reminded that of himself, so he came to me, and I researched it myself, and I agreed with him. So, my husband and I decided to get him tested, and he was correct; he was autistic. Even after the diagnosis, he continued to graduate with a high school diploma; we were so proud of him. Who would have known that a high school diploma would be caused a lot of limitations? We found out organizations that are geared toward autistic people wouldn't accept him because he had a diploma. So, I decided to create a safe space for autistic children and adults, a place of their own. I don't want any other child to feel alone like my son did during high school or feel like their being punished for having a high school diploma like Mike. Even though creating JAS has been a great experience for myself and my team , we still need help. We need donations, volunteers, and any other help. Please inbox, call or email anything that would be greatly appreciated.