Refined by the Fire of Fore autism. For hope.
Your child has autism. When Joe King, one of Grace Hill’s 2022 Impact Hero finalists, first heard those words in 2012, he was heartbroken. And even though he and his former wife had small clues along the way alerting them to the fact something was “different,” it was a diagnosis they weren’t fully prepared to hear.
“Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.”
But here’s what most people don’t understand: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” It’s a quote made famous by Dr. Stephen Shore, an autism advocate and person with ASD, and his words became a starting point for Joe as he embarked on this new parenting path.
Joe realized there would be challenges to face, and he steeled himself for the task. However, as he began navigating the realities of his son’s disorder, Joe quickly realized something more needed to be done.
It’s not an untold story for those navigating challenges — of many kinds — and with it comes a vicious cycle of frustrations, unmet needs, gaps in advocacy, educational disconnects, and more.
But rather than sit and wait for things to change, Joe decided to act...
“I created the nonprofit mostly based on frustration by the lack of awareness and understanding shown by the public. Also, I realized that opportunities existed for my son, but I was never made aware of them, not even by the educators.”
- Joe King
Learn more about Joe, his words of wisdom, and what his peers say about his impact on the local community.