One thing I had not discovered until recently, is how much words matter and how long this guy hangs on to every word spoken. He’s literal, black or white, all or nothing and no in between. Everyday conversation can spike his anxiety through the roof and spark panic attacks, which trigger the downward spiral. "Remember when I was 4, little baby Jake, and you told me I could do things on my own... well now I'm 16... I'm doing this Jake's way, you told me I could."
He holds on to EVERY word, ever spoken... plan ahead before the words leave your mouth.
Here’s Jake’s literal and fearful view of growing up. Anxiety rules all. Autism is the least of his challenges. -Jenn
I’m nervous about when I turn 18 and accidentally lose control the consequences are bigger and more serious. I find it very ridiculous and very counterproductive because that is giving me stress. I do struggle and do make poor decisions and because of my Autism behaviors, don’t always realize it until its too late.
My behaviors have even gotten bigger and more serious and when my body is very high it’s very hard to follow laws or police commands and rules even at home. I do struggle with staying in control and being safe. I have a hard time controlling myself especially in overwhelming settings.
I want to help everyone understand that if kids with a disability might get in trouble with the law when they are 18 years old and lose control. The most important thing to do is talking it through and help them feel comfortable and calm. We need more intensive help and support. I struggle with behaviors because of my very fast brain and I’m getting older. Some people that don’t know me, already expect me to behave like an adult because I’m really big and strong.
I’m very scared of my future and people not understanding. We need to teach the whole world about Autism Super Powers. I would make a speech about autism, IMPORTANT JUST LIKE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR at Jeni’s & Mattie’s park. There would be food and police friends and fire rescue friends as well and other fun stuff. Then make a parade with all our families by marching in front of the Police headquarters.
We should rally around people and families who struggle. They should not be judged by what they look like or their size. People need to accept us as we are because we are gifted and amazing. We can be big and still like the Cookie Monster, Wiggles and Santa. We cannot be judged by our behavior because we are scared and make mistakes sometimes. Just be nice and calm to us.
Let’s make the change for the best of everyone with faith, confidence, bless, grace lord and hope. And for not just me, but for everybody all over the world.
**Jake...you are an amazing young man. Thank you for changing the world one day at a time. I am honored to know you and call you my friend." Assistant Chief of Police Betsy Davis, Montgomery County Maryland Police Department
**Jake is a great kid who will be famous and rule the world one day. Good for us, to get on the Jake bandwagon early! Jake is motivational and represents both the struggles and accomplishments of a person with Autism.”
Ofc. Laurie Reyes, MCPD I/DD, Autism, and Dementia/Alzheimer's Special Division
**That kid is an amazing young man and I wish we could bottle his spirit and spread it around this country. Wow!"
Retired First Sgt. Chris McClellan, North Carolina Highway Patrol