Outside a home in Medford you'll see the autism awareness signs proudly displayed. Inside, stands a testament to what autism research and care can achieve.
NewsChannel 7 first introduced you to Jack Mayrer in 2005 when he was in kindergarten. Today, he's now in 7th grade. For his mom, Cathy, the work of taking care of his needs never stops.
“...I give him his shower, brush his teeth, comb his hair,” she explains.
While Jack has come a long way since we last saw him in 2006, every day is still a struggle.
“He has gotten aggressive. That is hard, because I know he can't help it. He is getting bigger. He is getting harder for me to handle,” Cathy says.
There are many tough times, there are also plenty of calm, happy times. Jack finds solace in his iPad, favorite telephone, and of course some overwhelming support from his three brothers. But helping Jack takes more than just family support. It quite literally takes a village to raise him.
When it comes to autism, parents can't do it alone. That is why Cathy is so grateful to the Medford School System for being there every step of the way.
Talking to Jack, it's clear his teachers mean a lot to him. While he may not be able to express it in the usual way, his words speak for themselves.
“Mr. Brown is the best teacher ever. I'm saying he is the best teacher ever”, Jack exclaims.
For his Special Education Teacher, Ryan Brown, the feeling is mutual.
"He and other students have huge personalities. Jack has a huge imagination. He loves superheros and supervillians and he enjoys looking different topics up on the internet."
Jack's autism is something that is going to follow him his whole life, his family is just glad he is able to get the support he needs. While pharmaceuticals help to manage Jack's symptoms, having a chance to meet this family, it becomes clear that love is really the best medicine.
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