Autism vision

The world to most of us is a very confusing and intimidating place and it takes a long time to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. We have to learn our ABC’s in kindergarten, the multiplication tables in the 1st grade, reading and spelling in the 2nd grade, math and science in the 3rd grade and then we have grades 4 through 12 where we learn everything else we need too so we can go on to college and prepare for the “real world”. We need a strong support system to complete our schooling and to continue our education with our college ambitions. As young students we typically need encouragement and a feeling of comfort and nurturing. We all seek acceptance and crave attention. We all are individuals and we all have different views and ways of seeing and understanding things. We all have different strengths so we should evaluate those strengths and weaknesses so we can find suitable goals based on our talents and interests.

We also learn through the many social experiences we have which is a very important aspect of our life. Learning to make friends and treat each other with respect is something we all must learn so we can become well adjusted and develop our personality.

We need to understand that friendships are so valuable in our lives and the more people we meet and befriend and the more experiences we have will help us learn the true meaning of life and what is important. For autistic children the ability to develop meaningful relationships is more difficult because they lack the necessary social skills that enable them to communicate and express themselves. They tend to avoid these social situations and prefer to be alone in their own world doing the things that make them happy. They are used to repetitive forms of expression and they are extremely sensitive to sound and tend to have difficulty making eye contact. They also do not always know proper decorum as they tend to be reactionary in how they behave. They can be very calm and engaging one moment and something could set them off like a high pitched siren sound which will affect them and they will lose it behaviorally. In this case they will tend to be overwhelmed and then their behavior will become an issue and they will most likely have a meltdown.

Autism is so far reaching as it not only affects the child with the diagnosis but it affects all the family members and all the people involved in the child’s life such as teachers, friends and family relatives. If we could identify the cause of autism we would hopefully find a way to help those affected by it. Most autistic children and adults can function and take on responsibilities but their abilities and their needs have to be addressed and proper action has to be taken. Currently there is no real known cause of autism but there are a lot of theories and suppositions. Until we have absolute documented proof of the causes there will only be theories as to why it occurs and why it is so prevalent.

In order to have hope we need to have vision for brighter days ahead despite an autism diagnosis and we need to have faith in God and internal strength.
With an autism diagnosis comes a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainty. We just have to try to deal with it as best we can if we are the parents of an autistic child and we need to make sure our child will have all the care and help they need to help them and show them the way. We will always be there for them and treat them no differently and will be very supportive and very understanding. Autistic children need love, support, hope, encouragement, the ability to dream and a clear vision of what the possibilities are despite their autism. If you ask an autistic child what they wish for you will be surprised that most will say all they wish for is to be understood and loved and that is after all what most of us wish for.

Autistic children are no different and they are truly very special and very wise. They have such a way about themselves that warrant our attention and our love and they give us hope with their vision and their innocence. I am always amazed with my son’s approach to life and his vision of the world and I see him as a child that makes me very happy and proud. I see my son as a bright and wonderful young boy with hopes and dreams and a vision of a brighter world where we all get along and accept each other and there is peace and joy in the world. My son has a wonderful innocence about life and we always encourage him to hold on to his dreams and to keep hold of his vision too for that is what gives us hope.

Edward D. Iannielli III

Am I autistic or just shy?

Sometimes I ponder this question because I have felt growing up that I was very shy and preferred to do things by myself most of the time. I did participate in team sports when I was younger when I played little league baseball from 1970 through 1972 and in high school when I ran cross country from 1978 through 1979. Aside from those experiences which I did enjoy I kept pretty much to myself. Even when I ran cross country, by the very nature of the sport I was alone for the most part but did run in groups with my teammates. I just felt more comfortable avoiding the social pressures and I managed to avoid many social related situations. I attributed a lot of that to being painfully shy. I even felt awkward in dating situations though I did have many crushes on the girls but due to my shyness I avoided dating and relationships. Through the years the only person I felt comfortable speaking to and expressing myself to was my mother. She was very understanding and helped give me sound advice. My dad was very helpful too but his job was very demanding so I did not want to burden him with my concerns.

I believe our personality and how we view the world is both learned and inherited. I am not sure exactly what determines whether we will be shy or outgoing. I feel we all have different levels of comfort and we react accordingly. Despite my shyness I managed to do well in school and I did enjoy competition and managed making friends. I just felt that I limited myself more because I did not always choose to participate preferring to keep a low profile.

I even remember having “butterflies” whenever I had to speak in front of the class or if I was called upon to answer a question. I usually responded with the correct answer but that did not alleviate the anxiety I felt.

Drawing upon my son’s experiences knowing his situation and diagnosis I too found that I would withdraw from crowds and preferred to occupy myself with things I enjoyed doing by myself. I remember as a kid I loved collecting baseball cards and matchbox cars and I also spent long periods of time arranging my cards by set comparing to the checklists and organizing them in numerical order. Is it coincidental or was that behavior of an autistic child? I was never diagnosed as autistic so I am just theorizing but find it is a valid question. In my mind I do not believe I am autistic but do know that I still battle with my shyness. I am able to conduct myself and talk with others as I have made tremendous strides but I still feel I have difficulty making eye contact and feel this has to do with my shyness.

I also feel that though I was shy as a child I knew how to conduct myself and I always behaved properly and did not react unfavorably to stimuli. I never had any sensitivities or problems with behavior. I know my son has difficulties in knowing how to relate and he does have sensitivities and when he is upset by outside “triggers” he will react out and his behavior will change. One minute he will be perfectly calm and then if something “triggers” him in a negative way he will have a difficult time and will be susceptible to a meltdown.

I know when my son is going through a meltdown it is very hard to penetrate his world and he is totally out of control. He will be very difficult and it takes a considerable amount of strength both physically and emotionally to get him back to a calm state of mind. I feel very consumed by these episodes and I only hope they are with me only. I do however know he has had them in school as well so it is not only with me that he loses his composure. This is definitely a telltale sign of a child having autism. They can not separate their feelings from how they react and they are generally unpredictable in how they will be from one day to the next.

Knowing from my own insecurities and personal experiences I may not always be the best one to give advice but speaking from my heart I know that I love my son and will do anything to help him through his difficulties and will always try my best to get him the proper support and guidance that he needs. I want my son to know he is OK and that he has so much to be grateful for. He is certainly the best thing to happen in my life and I am very fortunate to have a wonderful wife and son. Since marrying and becoming a father to a wonderful boy I have come along way in how I perceive things and how I relate to others. I have also managed to deal with my shyness much better and am working to do all I can to help my son manage in the world despite his autism just like my parents helped me despite my shyness.

We all have our imperfections which is what makes us unique and all we have to realize is it’s OK to have these imperfections. We just have to learn from them and accept them and just try to do the best we can and we also need to find peace and happiness from within and believe in God and find strength from him and seek help and guidance from our family.

Edward D. Iannielli III

Finding peace and tranquility with family and by myself

Sometimes we face things in our life that bring us to emotional lows and we need to try to be strong and find the support we need to help get through it. After all we all are human and we all have feelings and we need to express them so we don’t keep them bottled up within us causing us further sadness, depression and a sense of hopelessness. Unfortunately we will all go through difficult and sad periods in our life and we need to find inspiration, guidance, hope, love, peace and time both with our families on fun excursions and time by ourselves.

I know in my life I have dealt with the death of my parents and other loved ones. I am also dealing with the heartbreak of raising a child with autism and epilepsy and although there are some positives that come with autism there are a lot of concerns and worries too. I feel consumed at times and need to turn to others or just take a walk and be by myself.

I find there are many places to accomplish walking by myself and just dealing with life and the bigger picture. When I wish to be with family I find the beach is a wonderful place to take a stroll and I particularly like walking along the shore line with my wife and son. My son sometimes enjoys staying in one place and drawing in the sand and testing the shore line. He also likes to build castles with moats and loves when the water spills over into the designated moats he created. As all kids love the beach my son can spend hours at a time there and that is one of life’s pleasures and a memory I love holding on to in my mind. I feel the human mind can be an awesome camera because in your mind you can hold on to images and picture them pretty vividly no matter how much time goes by. Obviously a digital camera also comes in handy and I find it enjoyable taking family pictures at the beach and cherishing the memories later on by viewing them on the computer and in our family album. Another fun place to walk with family at the beach is the boardwalk and I find it a form of healthy exercise and it helps ease the mind from it’s burdens.

Another place I like to go with my wife and son when I am blessed to have the day with them is at a park like Newbridge Road Park or Eisenhower Park. Sometimes the drive is as much fun as being at the park and one of our favorite family excursions is the Montauk Point Lighthouse where we love to stroll by the rocky shoreline and up to the historic lighthouse. Life is so much more pleasurable when you spend it with the ones you love and take in the beautiful sites and sounds.

Since I am on the topic of beaches our all time favorite family destination spot is Virginia Beach where we just love spending time on the beach and the boardwalk walking and riding bicycles. Swimming in the ocean with the backdrop of hotels is one of my favorite images of Virginia Beach and we always have fun times there and in the hotel. We also love walking along the boardwalk at nighttime either right before or right after dinner and sometimes right before bedtime.

Another favorite family destination spot in Virginia we love to spend time at are the amusement parks and historical grounds of Williamsburg, Virginia. We usually spend a full day at Bush Gardens walking to all our favorite attractions and stopping to eat when the need arises. One of the most beautiful walks in the Williamsburg area are the historical grounds of Colonial Williamsburg where it is like taking a step back in time and learning a piece of our nation’s history. Walking can be tiring especially with young children and the elderly so we always make sure we make the necessary resting stops along the way for our son and for grandma.

Another favorite destination place we have gone a couple of times when Matty was a young child with short lived memories and more recently where he now has more vivid memories is Hershey Park, Pennsylvania which is by far the “sweetest place on earth.” It is such a joy spending time in these family fun places where we all are “kids” for the day enjoying the time with our children.

A place that is pure magic where my wife and I honeymooned and certainly look forward to taking Matty and grandma sometime is Walt Disney World. Matty’s all time favorite person in the whole wide world aside from his mom, dad, grandma and his beloved pop is the man who created Mickey Mouse and all those beautiful animation movies, Walt Disney. He loves all his movies and just loves all his contributions.

One of Matty’s biggest joys is visiting at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic Connecticut and The world famous Bronx Zoo. We love looking at the sea life at the aquarium and the animal life at the zoo and never tire of it. It is one of our favorite ways to spend the day with the ones we love. I take great joy in seeing the smile on my son’s face and it makes me very happy.

A place I make it a point to go to on occasion sometimes with my family and sometimes alone which is a solemn place is the cemetery which is the final resting place for my parents and infant nephew. When we go all together as family we visit briefly to say a prayer and Matty in his infinite wisdom calmly states that Pop and grandma Catherine and baby Timothy are doing fine. He then runs off as typical kids do. After we pay our respects we catch up to Matty and quietly leave and go to Nathan’s for lunch and the arcade. When I need to reflect more and walk around I go to the cemetery alone and I spend more time praying and holding on to the memories and I divide my time between both locations. I visit to pray for my mom and dad first and then I visit in the baby section which is very emotional and I pray for my nephew and all the babies. It brings tears to my eyes when I see all the names of these little angels and the inscriptions. In some cases I see names of twins on these tiny head stones meeting with God on the same day or days apart. I can’t help but feel sad for these babies and their families but realize they are angels and hopefully their parents and siblings are comforted in their grief of losing their precious babies too soon. I am touched when I read these inscriptions and I can not help but cry. One such writing which I found very touching was written for a baby girl and it simply stated “Touched by an angel and then she slept.” Another writing I read also for a baby girl which was very emotional and read as follows: “We held you but a moment and you touched us forever.” The hardest part is seeing all the toys and figurines nestled by the babies headstones left by the parents and family. It really touches my heart and makes me want to hug my son and appreciate all the moments I share with him.

As I leave the baby section I sometimes stroll and read the grave stones in sections as I leave and I read of those who lived long lives and others whose lives were cut short. Some as young children, some as teenagers, some in their 20’s, some in their 30’s and some in their 40’s. They are daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, grand parents. Some left way too young and they all have stories. It is so very sad and it makes me truly appreciate our life here though it is difficult at times and it makes you want to spend as much time with your children as you can.

Edward D. Iannielli III

Celebrating our child’s uniqueness, celebrating autism

I have come full circle in my view of life and what is most important. I have been through life’s ups and downs and have experienced both joy and heartbreak. The same can be said for the roller coaster ride my wife and I have been on with our son and his diagnosis of autism. I can say I have come along way from when I first recognized our son was different in how he reacted to his surroundings. My wife sensed it first when he was an infant when he apparently was not responsive to the sound of her voice. We didn’t really know what to make of it initially. When our son turned 2 we were concerned since he had not yet spoken a word and that was when we realized we had to do something after the doctor suggested we consider the process of early intervention. It was fortunate that our son was approved for the early intervention program which was what we were hoping for. He benefited from the one on one interaction with the therapists who came to the house to provide him with the needed therapies recommended and they were very dedicated to their work and dedicated to helping our son. My wife and I were very concerned for our son, naturally not really knowing what a diagnosis of autism really means.

You feel like your world has been turned upside down in that instant moment when you hear the diagnosis of autism and all you can think of is your poor child and how they will be affected and the limitations, the trials, the teasing and the difficulties they will encounter and selfishly the heartbreak you feel not knowing what the future will hold for your child. As I realized his diagnosis was for real I became withdrawn and pondered why our son had to endure this and why we had to pretty much become resigned to this sad reality. I was not very positive in the first couple of years but I was encouraged with the early intervention program and the therapies our son was receiving.

I then did research and a lot of reading on the internet trying to gleam some hope from this mystery diagnosis of autism which seems to be on the rise. As I read and learned things I started to see some positive characteristics of autism and I saw that these positives were also common to my son’s situation. I realized when my son started to talk and express himself after the therapies which proved very helpful that he was very intelligent and he had an appetite for reading. He was above average in his reading skills and seemed to enjoy it. We started him on Dr Seuss books which he really enjoyed and eventually the Magic treehouse series of books written by Mary Pope Osborne. He loved to read the stories in sequential order and initially was more interested in the number of pages in the book and the number of words on a page. It seems autistic children have a need to know numbers and how many there are of something which seems to be very important to our son. He also enjoys arranging things in numerical order and in alphabetical order and he is always right in his ordering sequence.

In addition to enjoying reading stories our son also enjoys writing as he too writes a blog about the things important to him. He has a good way of expressing himself through his writing and we are very proud of him and encourage him often. We do have to work with him when it comes to his homework as he is not disciplined enough or independent to do it on his own. We have to monitor him and make sure he completes it. So we do have to deal with both positives and the areas where he needs to make improvement. As the parent of an autistic child it is necessary to have patience and devotion for your child and a committed determination to help them and be there for them every step of the way.

I realize that our son sometimes can not help how he behaves or reacts based on his inner mind’s hard wiring which is influenced by his autism so we have to be more understanding but also have to try to show him how to behave and react in a way that will help him so he understands. Through the frustrations I have come to also recognize the joys and the happy moments. So with a diagnosis of autism comes hope and we are encouraged more than ever and we feel our son will have as much of a chance as any child and we are fortunate that our son is in a school where the teachers are aware of his needs and are working in conjunction with the school district and with us in finding a suitable program so our son can achieve and make progress.

We are celebrating our son’s uniqueness and we are recognizing the good attributes that come with a diagnosis of autism and knowing we have love in our heart for our son and faith in God we will help him get through it and let him know how truly special he is and that he should never feel ashamed of being autistic. In a phrase I will sum it up in our son’s words: ” Hi! My name is Matty and I am A OK!”

Edward D. Iannielli III

Conversations with my son

As a parent it is a joy to have conversations with our children. I always look forward to speaking with my son and hearing how his day at school was and how he did on a test he prepared for. It is so important to interact with our children regularly and engage them in meaningful conversation. During the work week I don’t always have the time to see or talk with my son so I make it a priority to at least speak to him on the telephone and I ask him about his day at school and I always ask him about his homework and what he had for dinner. I feel so much happier when I have the time to spend with my son and gather together as a family at the dinner table. I feel during these difficult economic times that it is much more stressful on parents and their minds are preoccupied so they don’t always give their children the proper attention they deserve.

Children learn a lot from their parents and they gain perspective from them and tend to copy them in how they relate in their daily experiences. Since we have a tremendous influence on our children it is our responsibility to guide them and show our children the ways they should conduct themselves in everyday life. We also have to engage them in conversation and listen to them and let them express themselves and talk about anything that is on their mind. When a child knows they can talk to their parents and can say whatever is on their mind they will feel more comfortable and will be more willing to talk about what is troubling them. It is the best feeling in the world when your child asks you for advice and looks to you for answers. I may not always have the answer to his questions but I will try my best to answer him to the best of my knowledge. My son can ask some difficult questions and he certainly keeps me on my toes.

I sometimes try to test my memory and think back to the days when I was a young child and how I interacted with my parents. I remember my dad working a lot and going to bed early because of his work schedule so I didn’t have a great deal of conversation with him during the week. My mother was more involved in helping me with school and sitting with me. I have fond memories of sitting at the dining room table of our first house in Brooklyn, New York and mom would be by my side helping me with my math assignment and she always made sure I understood it and that I completed it properly. For inspiration I think back to those days in relating to my son.

Recollections I have with my dad were when he would drive me to my baseball games and he would speak to me giving me advice and encouraging me to try my best and not to get upset if we lost the game. I also remember when I was a young kid when my dad took me to his job site on a Saturday and introduced me to some of his ironworker friends and colleagues. I was in awe of the job site and talking with these men who were responsible for building the tall skyscrapers and bridges like my dad.

My dad had the opportunity of meeting my son and he was always wonderful with him in accepting him and spending time with him. He loved to talk to my son and help him with his legos and talk about some of his experiences working on the tall skyscrapers which amazed my son and led him to ask his pop many questions about those days which brought a smile to both my dad and my son’s face as well as mine.

With an autistic child it is much more difficult to have conversations because they won’t freely talk. I have always had to take the lead with my son in our conversations and I am more used to it now but I always wished my son would feel more free to express himself and share his experiences. It seems that autistic children have impairments in social situations and they have a disconnect that makes it more difficult for them to express themselves. In establishing a relationship with an autistic child the parent needs to always treat the child with dignity, compassion, understanding and respect. If the child feels they can trust you they will tend to open up and feel more inclined to share their feelings and talk about them. Raising an autistic child is very demanding and requires a lot of determination, patience and love. If you can provide all these attributes you will tend to have more success in getting through to your child and expanding their world.

My earliest recollection of a conversation I had with my son was when he was just a baby in the crib and it was strictly a one sided conversation but it was spoken from my heart and I will try my best to write it as I said it those many years ago:

“My son, my son I am so very happy to have you and your mommy in my life and I feel so blessed and my heart is overwhelmed with joy. When I first saw you when you were crying after taking your first breath I was in love with you right from the start and my love for your mommy grows and grows. You make my life a joy with your presence and I am so proud to be you daddy. Mommy and daddy love you with all our hearts and we will always stand by your side and teach you the ways of the world and give you an upbringing that is surrounded with love, encouragement, protection, discipline and faith. We will always listen to you and teach you and we are sure you will teach us also and we will always think back to your special day and always smile because you bring such joy to our lives. We are so happy that you are our precious baby boy.”


Your daddy

Edward D. Iannielli III

Sometimes I wonder

I have thought about it many times and have always been mystified by it and then I take a step back and just keep going on wondering but not really knowing why. I guess it’s just how things happen or are meant to be. We really don’t fully grasp all the happenings and goings on in our life or the lives of others. To me it’s like we are on a journey where we start off fully dependent on others, especially our parents and we are taught to be self reliant so we can go out into the world and start a life of our own as our parents and God intended. The average life span for mankind I believe is 75 years which by time measurement seems like a long time but as we live our life and time passes it seems like an instant in time. To me I can say I have been blessed having wonderful parents and sisters growing up. I was on the shy side but managed to have positive and joyful experiences as a child through to my early adulthood with my family.

In pondering how we came in to the world it is truly a miracle that our parents came to meet and by them meeting and starting a life together we were given this wonderful opportunity and gift of life. I feel the same way about meeting my wife and the miraculous birth of our son. It just is such a mystery how things come in to place so we can be born. If my dad never met my mom I would never be born and if I were not born then I would not have met my wife and our son would not be born and that is indeed the mystery and the wonder of life. It is destiny that 2 people come together in this great big world to unite and have a child born. I find it also a mystery how far back we go and trying to trace our ancestry lineage. It seems basic when you think about it but the reality is that tracing back is difficult because we need to rely on birth records. I have had the privilege of meeting my grand parents on both sides of my family and I also was fortunate enough to meet my great grandmother on my father’s side. When you think about it we are here because they all met and continued each generation.

Sometimes when I think long and hard about it my mind just can not comprehend it. I am truly grateful for being given life and also elated and joyful for sharing in being blessed with the miracle of life with our son. I also feel sad that there are unborn and I wonder why. It makes you realize there is also the flip side where birth does not occur because of happenings. If you think about it many young people have died and never had an opportunity to meet someone and share in the miracle of life. It just seems like there are powers out there and fate has a hand in whether we come in to the world or not.

To explain life and our purpose to my son is something I take very seriously and I want him to know how truly blessed he is and that he has a true purpose in this life and he comes from a wonderful family who are so proud and happy to share in this miracle of life we experience together as a family. It sometimes seems silly that we get hung up on little inconsequential things that are passing moments when there is such a bigger picture that sometimes we are too busy to understand or see.

As I get older I become more philosophical in my views and thinking’s and I also am very appreciative to have family, friends and a means to provide for my family. I must say that I have been fortunate in many ways and although I wonder and ponder the mysteries of life I can truly say I have a wonderful life. For becoming a father is the second best gift I can be given as the first is being born of my mom and dad.

The words I close with which I address to my mom, dad, sisters, wife, son, family, teachers and friends are as follows:

“It is in life I realize how truly lucky and fortunate I am for how my life has been shaped and influenced in such a wonderful way. I also have come to appreciate all that I have and all that I have been given. Therefore I say from the bottom of my heart and with tears in my eyes how grateful I am to have had such wonderful parents who gave me all the love, support and guidance I could ever ask for and wonderful sisters who taught me a thing or 2 about life. My most blessed gift is meeting my wife Maria and sharing in the joy and miracle of our son Matthew’s birth. It is my wife and son who give me a reason and purpose and make me so very happy. I am not sure how much time I have left but knowing I have wonderful family and friends gives me the courage and strength to carry on and be grateful for what I have. As I see my son grow it just makes me want to always be there for him helping him and guiding him and showing him the way as I have learned. I want my son to find happiness and joy and to always feel loved, confident, and joyous. I want my son to have a wonderful life.”

Edward D. Iannielli III

Life Lessons: Hopes and dreams

As children we are growing, exploring and learning in structured and unstructured settings and we are encouraged to dream and strive for excellence throughout our young lives with the intent of achieving all that we strive for and adopting those same values in our adulthood and continuing to hope and dream. We learn from our parents and our teachers the importance of setting goals and envisioning our hopes and dreams so we will be challenged and have purpose. It is obvious that children see the world differently than adults and their youth and innocence help to educate and guide them and their youth is a time that is very forgiving. It is in our youth that we learn the most and have the highest capacity for learning through our experiences and our mistakes.

As children develop and learn through their experiences it is essential to help build their self esteem and always encourage them and listen to them. Children are very aware of their potential and instinctively know what they can and can not do and will need to effectively communicate this. It is our responsibility to help them in areas where they may struggle so they can make improvement which will provide a boost to their self esteem which is essential for a young child. All children are capable and have the ability to learn and achieve and it may take more time for some but that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. They have just as much a right to learn as does any child. Autistic children generally fall into this area where teachers and parents have to exhibit a great deal more patience and understanding. Autistic children are very intelligent and it is very important that they get the proper educational experience they deserve so they too can achieve and accomplish and hold onto their hopes and dreams.

Due to the rise in Autism it is very important for teachers to be specially trained in dealing with the behavioral and emotional outbursts displayed by autistic students who are not properly integrated in the schools. It is very easy to lose these students and that is not an option. The schools and teachers have to be more dedicated to these autistic students and their difficulties and the parents have to be proactive in their child’s education. Teachers are very instrumental in inspiring and educating our young children and our children are very impressionable and eager to learn. It is essential that both teachers and students work together.

It takes courage and heart to strive to be our very best. We are all blessed with the ability to do so. We just have to believe in ourselves and realize that our best may not be the best but if we put forth sincere effort and aspire to our hopes and dreams then that should make us proud regardless of where we place. We have to realize that we should always set our own personal goals and work towards accomplishing them regardless of how we compare to others and we should never get discouraged. In accomplishing one goal at a time we build confidence and we gain experience in making progress and succeeding. As we set goals and accomplish them we are building our self confidence and our self esteem and taking the necessary steps we need to achieve and bring out our best.

The beauty of being young and innocent is that we can dream and hope and believe in ourselves and know that there should be nothing that can stop us from doing what we set out to do. We have all the time on our side that we need and if we dedicate our life to doing good and striving for our best we will come out on top. This is the best advice I can pass on to my son and know that I will always be there to support and guide him so he too can dream and set out to accomplish all he wishes and be the person he is meant to be. My son is autistic and he is a special person who can do anything in life he wishes. I love my son and I with the help of my wife will always nurture him, praise him and provide him with all the encouragement and guidance he deserves as my parents did for me.

Edward D. Iannielli III