Issue 13’s Big Question!
“What does the word family mean to you?”
To me, the word “family” means something very specific. It means to be with people, who understand and accept you without condition. A family can be a small group or a large one, who all support one another. They will help you when you struggle and be there for you in trying times. They also know you as a person; knowing your quirks and habits and how to manage them. As a member of the family, you yourself also contribute. If someone has a problem, you would do your best to listen to understand. Give advice if they ask for it. Usually, others are kind to you if you are kind to them. Blood relatives are commonly seen as a “real family,” but people from different races, backgrounds, and beliefs can also become one.
Jeremy is a 27-year-old alumni from Marshall University. Diagnosed of having Asperger Syndrome, since age 10, he has always been involved with programs that help assist people with autism and other disabilities. He likes to reach out to people who are on and off the autism spectrum, seeking to understand them and their stories.
My family means the world to me! I have autism and it renders me incapable of most everyday activities. Some may take performing these activities for granted, but I am not able to do that. Until recently I struggled with communication, but now am able to use RPM to reach others.
My family supports me in every way possible. They make sure my needs are met physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are always going to performances, restaurants, and various social occasions together. They never exclude me from events. The world might exclude me, but my family never does. Together we support each other.
“I am 14 years old. I am low-verbal and have Autism. I have been homeschooled by my mother for about a year and a half. I have been using RPM (Rapid Prompting Method). for two years and it has changed my life!”
What does the word family mean to me? I am so lucky to have a very supportive family. Great parents, an amazing husband, two awesome kids, siblings and great friends and family. Family to me is the people that I don’t have to pretend with. The people that truly understand me. Family is the people that love me unconditionally.
Proud Mom, Wife and Travel Agent
The word family is not easy to explain. I have so many people in my life that I consider family. I always have family around me since I have Autism and they help me communicate through RPM. It takes a lot of work, practice and patience. I have the best family ever, hard to beat!
I have many parts to my family that make it whole. I have my immediate family of my mom, dad and brother. Then I have relatives and friends that I also consider family. They all treat me like a regular teenager and always respect me. All of them are so important to my life. Even when they get on my nerves, I am lucky to have them. I couldn’t appreciate them more.
I am pretty sure my family is far from normal, but I am so glad to part of this crazy family! We are loud, happy and really silly but that is just how we roll! Family is about loving each other no matter what. My family is everything to me.
“I am sixteen years old. I have Autism and learned to communicate with RPM (Rapid Prompting Method). I live in Centreville, Virginia with my mom, dad, brother, and dog. I like to hike and hang out with my friends.”
The Word Family Means a lot to Me. It sure does Mean Lots of Love and Lots of Care for One Another. No One Ever Gets Left Behind!
It means to Encourage and to Inspire One another and show Lots of Love for Each Other.
It Means showing Great Support for Your Loved Ones who have Big Dreams and to Help Encourage them to Dream Big and To Never Quit or Give Up be an Option.
It means to help Each Other to Believe in themselves and to NEVER be Doubtful or Negative about Yourself!
It means working as a Great Team to Help Each Other and to Never have any Limits to Great and Amazing and Awesome Things.
It means to show Lots of Kindness and to help each other know about The Power of Positive Attitudes and Positive Thinking.
Family Means Accepting Each Other for who they are, For we all have things that we like and things that we don’t AND it means to always do our Best to be Very Honest with One Another in Very Polite and Very Kind Ways.
Family Means so Very Very Much and Family is sure Very Very Important!
D.J. Svoboda was diagnosed at the age of 3 with Autism Spectrum Disorder with psychomotor retardation which included speech delays and issues with his fine motor skills. He found it difficult to even hold a pencil. Today, D.J. is a dynamic, motivational public speaker, accomplished artist and author with three books to his credit; My Imagiville, The Mupperezmo and the Rainbow, and The Inspirations of Imagiville.
Read more articles in Zoom Autism Magazine, Issue 13:
- Lights, Camera, Activism! Up Close with Matt and Ed Asner by Lydia Wayman
- Walking with Owen by Walter Suskind
- I Will Never Go to Harvard…And That’s Okay! By Jacob Fuentes
- Parenting, Spectrum Style by Maura Campbell
- “I Have Stopped Using the Word ‘Family’ and Have Never Looked Back!” by Becca Lory
- Cummings and Goings: The Manyness of Family by Conner Cummings
- How I Found My Happy Ending by Megan Amodeo
- The Impact of Camouflaging, Anxiety and Trust by Robert Watkins