Robert is an amazing 18-year-old who has Autism and a speech impairment.   With that came sensory issues, behavioral challenges and difficulty in social situations, communication and expressing his emotions.  Robert was not able to speak until the age of 10.  Because of his speech impairment, it’s difficult for those who don’t know Robert to understand him, which caused a great deal of frustration for him.

Robert loves to be around people but doesn’t fully understand all social cues and at times needs help in how and when to respond to others.  However, Robert has been diligently practicing his speech and making great progress in his communication skills and learning social cues.

An area of strength for Robert is his use of technology.  It was through technology that Robert was able to communicate since he was 3 years old with Dynavox and IPod ProLoQuo.   Robert is an extremely intelligent young man with a grade point average of 3.6, excelling in reading and spelling.  He is extremely creative and loves to paint and use drawing programs for his artwork.  Robert also has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and uses these programs to create merchandise he feels different companies need to have.

Robert is highly competitive, participating in Special Olympics and a program called “Special Strong” which helps him increase his stamina, strength and speed, while helping him learn to work with others.  He has a 370 lb deadlift and recently received a gold medal in Javelin and the 100m dash!  He also received silver medals in basketball and soccer and bronze in bowling and softball.

Volunteering is another important part of Robert’s life, participating at his church helping underprivileged kids and helping build podiums for the classrooms and benches and tables for the common areas.

Robert has an interest in the food industry and hopeful for a life of independence through continued hard work and the love and support of his family, friends and community!