Joel is on the high functioning end of the spectrum and is a wonderful, beautiful and loving young man. His autism can be isolating since the condition is not well understood and, quite frankly, some of the behaviors can be off-putting. There are also issues, in Joel's case, around the lack of socialization and communication skills. That isolation and the sense of being different, despite being the same - a human, are the story told by this portrait.
Fortunately we caught Joel's condition very early and have worked tirelessly to grow him into what he is today and what he is becoming - early intervention is one of the most important things that you can do for a child on the spectrum. The good news for Joel is that with intervention he has made tremendous strides in every area (and is the best little buddy a dad could have). His socialization and communication skills have improved dramatically - every day we are grateful that we did not deny his condition and got him the early intervention that has made such a difference. This continuing story is one of hope and reassurance that life does go on and does get better - it is the story of two best friends, father and son, dressing up in fun costumes and enjoying "camera time" together!
Greg, father of Joel