The Faces of Autism: Meet Radek
Meet Radek, a social and artistic 17 year old young man diagnosed with Autism.
Radek was diagnosed at 2.5 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His parents noticed that he wasn't meeting milestones, such as walking and talking, at an appropriate age. He didn't really fuss as a baby, but as he got a little older he would have extreme mood changes, being incredibly happy one moment and then the next he would be intensely upset the next. They felt that these signs, among others, didn't quite add up.
Radek has an amazing memory, he can even remember his preschool teacher. He also can spell just about anything! Radek also has a hard time with executive function. Executive function is the mental process that enables us to plan and organize, be able to focus, remember instructions, and multitask successfully, among a few other things. Time management and organization are big hurdles for Radek at home and at school. Radek says he has a hard time focusing in class often and has to be reminded to stay on task. He also is very sensitive to loud noises.
Radek is involved in his school's Peer-to-Peer program. This program helps kids with disabilities get out into the community with peer support, as well as helping with the transition to high school. He is also in his school's League of Gamers.
In Radek's family, Autism is just a word, just a part of who Radek is. They do not treat him any different than if he didn't have Autism. They give him opportunities to explore his strengths as well as look at where they can help support where he may have weaknesses.
If you suspect your child may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there are great supports in the community. One of my favorites is BisMan Autism Families on Facebook. Please feel free to share Radek's story to help spread Autism Awareness and Acceptance.