Guest: My aunt Christine and Uncle, Dr. Eric Weiss
Everyone experiences happiness and sorrow, anger, joy, fear, surprise, loneliness. Kids on the spectrum feel just as deeply, but they often sound different, have more issues with confidence, and they don’t know what comes after “hi,” making their ability to focus and succeed in social situations hard. With Marston, I’d start every morning believing today was the day he was going to look into my eyes and really want me. He’d reach for me, smile for the first time. Walk. He’d say, “Mama,” “Daddy,” or even “ball.” By 1998, when he turned three, I’d uttered that same old prayer a thousand times, and I was more determined than ever to shatter the glass wall that separated my son from the rest of the world. Autism wasn’t widely talked about back then, and Facebook (networking) didn’t exist. Eric and I were on our own. This memoir is our journey of educating Marston through programs like The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, Vision Therapy, the Tomatis® Method, Marion Blank’s approach to reading, hypotherapy, balloon dancing, and the list goes on…until we discovered stem cell replacement therapy. Love, faith, hard work, and teamwork have taught Marston how to strike up a conversation beyond the word “hi,” and do so much more. The pain, obstacles, and victories over the last twenty-four years have brought us one step closer to Marston living a life of purpose with as much normalcy as possible. We’ve cracked the glass wall, but we believe stem cell replacement therapy will ultimately shatter it. Now, it’s our job to share our story with the world because one win for autism is a victory for us all.