At birth, my younger brother Adam had a lack of oxygen to his brain, which caused brain damage. He suffers from autism, cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. He is 18 years old, cannot talk and has limited motor skills. Growing up with him has been challenging and rewarding, and has given me an appreciation for the things we take for granted every day -- especially being able to easily communicate verbally with one another. I build customized controllers that enhance video games, and it hurts knowing that Adam cannot experience the joy my products bring due to his lack of hand-eye coordination.
Through Adam, I've gotten a firsthand look into the special education system. Unfortunately, some of these children are abused at their schools. It took Adam many years to finally find a school where the faculty accepted him for who he was, and took interest in his life and improving his skills and abilities.
At Horizon High School in Livingston, NJ,
The school's goal is to help students at all levels reach their full educational, social and creative potential to live as independently as possible after graduation. Students are grouped in classes by age as well as by ability and they receive one-on-one attention throughout the school day from teachers, aides, therapists and job coaches.Since Adam has been at Horizon, he has seen much improvement. He is more independent and social, and he keeps surprising us with his improvements. He is now even capable of communicating using an iPad.