Home > In Their Own Words > In Their Own Words – My Son

In Their Own Words – My Son

Ana Arroyo, Scentsy Independent Consultant, grew up in New York City and resides in Westchester County, New York with her family. Ana was one of the many Scentsy consultants across North America who enthusiastically embraced the company’s campaign to raise funds for Autism Speaks through the sale of the Piece-by-Piece warmer.

My son was diagnosed with having mild-autism tendencies at the age of two.  At first I did not understand what “autism” was and my husband explained it to me.  That day we both cried (so did my husband’s mother, who we were living with at the time).  The hardest part was telling our family (they were always asking “when is he going to speak?”), as we did not know how they would react to this.  It turned out that our family members and friends were very supportive and understanding (and again, we all cried).

We enrolled our son in an Early Intervention Program, where slowly he was making some progress.  He still played by himself and was set in doing things a certain way.  He was use to a routine, so there was times when he would not understand when he did not have school or see his bus come for him.

Every night I would read to him because I wanted him to be able to keep up with other children so that they would see that he was not so different.  In doing so, he learned how to read very quickly.  One thing that he was fascinated with was the subway trains.  He surprised me by remembering exactly where we stopped one day because he had to use the bathroom (he was only five at the time), I was shocked that he remembered.  I brought home a train map and every night he would sit in a corner, open the map and just look at it for about an hour and then very carefully fold it back the way it was and put it away.  This became a routine for him for several years and always at the same time.

The hardest time for him was high school.  We had just moved to Cortlandt Manor from the Bronx and it was hard for him to make friends.  He would come home and get upset and cry.  I would tell him that everything will work out fine and when you feel this way to take out your Bible and read a passage, which he did every day.  I put him in a bowling team in the hope that he would make friends.  He enjoyed bowling and taught himself how to curve the ball.  He would practice with his brother (who by the way is nine years younger).

My family and friends are so proud of my son, for he has come a long way from what we were told.  They told us that he would never graduate with a diploma, might not get a “real” job, etc.  Well, my son prove them wrong.  My son graduated from both the 8th and 12th grade with diplomas.  He served his country by joining the United States Navy (two weeks before 9/11) for five years and was honorably discharged.  He became a New York City Police Officer (his dream since he was 14 years old).  He is married, has a three year old son and is a Correctional Officer in Mobile, Alabama.

On Thursday, September 29, Autism Speaks received a visit from two special guests who travelled all the way from Idaho. Heidi and Orville Thompson, Co-owners of Scentsy, a rapidly growing party plan company offering a variety of home fragrance products, stopped by to present a check from sales of its Autism Speaks themed ‘Piece by Piece’ Charitable Cause Warmer for an amazing $533,880! Click here for full coverage!

  1. September 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

    How was your son accepted into the armed forces with a diagnosis of autism?

  2. September 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Terrific story! My grandson is 4 with high-functioning autism. I will share you story with his parents. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Amy Zimmerman
    September 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Love it! Pat yourself on the back mom, you made this child what he is today. He had love and support and a mother that believed in him. Fabulous story and bravo.

  4. RM
    September 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Wow! You did a wonderful job with him. I’m going to read this to my son with autism who is 7.
    Congrats on how he has done so well for himself.

  5. ileana morales
    October 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I always say that mother of special kids are “Angels on earth”, and you are one of them.Great job.My son is 18 years old high functioning.He didn’t talk until he was 11,now he is a walking enciclopedia and GPS,he is a senior in high school, he works a volunteer in a hospital(“project victory,a school program); he is very social he talks to every girl in his school, but he doesn’t know how to act properly around his peers.We are working on that.I take all his friends out every friday to hang out, we go to movies,bowling, we do parties, so they can dance;Can you give me some ideas on how I can help my son to achive a fullfilling life like your son..Thank you

  6. Christine
    October 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

    My son is 5 years old with high functioning autism and this sounds like him.. he is a walking GPS (ileana), a puzzle master and there is no way you can skip reading to him… we are migrating to him reading to us… Thank you for the great article .. sharing with family and friends. Congratulations to you and your son (and your family) you inspire us all!!!

  7. October 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

    very inspiring. thanks for sharing your son’s encouraging story!

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