Joe’s Story: Raising Awareness About Autism

Joe’s Story: Raising Awareness About Autism


(acoustic music) – My name’s Joseph Michaels Stojanov, I’m a registered nurse here at Tucker Pavilion at
Chippenham Hospital. I work on the child and
adolescent unit. On a scale of 1 to 10
on the autism spectrum, I would say Evan is probably
around a 2. Very subtle in a lot of ways, and during his growth and
development milestones, he was always just
below the bar. In kindergarten, they
noticed that he started having some auditory
and visual difficulties as far as processing issues. And I had been trying
to get him into sports. I had wrestled growing up, and I was trying to
find something because I was getting concerned because I could see frustration building in him during school,
because he tries really hard. I mean, his teachers and
all at school say he’s the hardest
working kid probably there, and his grades don’t reflect
what he does in certain areas. And he came to me one day,
and he’s like, “You know, daddy,” he’s like,
“Sometimes the hard things,” he’s like, “The things that
are hardest “are the easiest for me, “and the things that should be
the easiest are the hardest.” And I was like, “You’re right.” I was like, “We gotta try to
figure out what’s going on.” So, fortunately, the
line of work that I’m in, I’ve spoke with quite a
few people around here and been pointed in some
very good directions. And he’s, you know, now
getting seen some, had a neuropsych testing done. I have him seeing one of the psychiatrists that
we have here, and he’s also seen an
autism specialist. But the one thing I
noticed was with the Judo, it’s a tactile type sport, and he took to it like
a duck in water. It was like, as soon as
he got ahold of somebody, and you can tell him what to do, and I practiced it some myself, and if you were to tell him
how to do a certain throw or a certain hold, he would have a hard time
processing it, but you get down on
the ground and you say, “Alright, you hold him this way,” or, “You throw somebody this way,” he gets it first time,
and just took off. And he’d been doing it for
about a year and a half, had his first tournament
up in D.C., and there was some
national competition there that we weren’t aware of. His first match was against the kid that was ranked number 2
in the country, and he had him down and pinned in about a minute and
23 seconds. Ended up placing 4th out
of the whole tournament, and the 2 children that he
lost to was the number 1 seed and his twin brother,
who was the number 3. Evan, after the first time
he said to me, he was like, “I’m not gonna
let that happen again.” His 2nd grade teacher, I have to give her a heck
of a lot of credit too. ‘Cause first grade, he
kind of floated through. And it really has a lot
to do with the teachers, I have to say, because
they see it first-hand in the classroom. She could see his frustration
building as well as I could, and that’s really what
scared me more than anything. If something seems off then, you know, you’re their advocate. You have to advocate for your child. Some things you just, you really, you need to get some outside, somebody from the outside
looking in. And that’s the biggest thing, and not try to diagnose your
own child or just, you know, being in the medical
profession, it’s a challenge. (acoustic music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *