DENVER - One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism.
Benjamin Tarasewicz is a 19-year-old who was diagnosed when he was a toddler. For much of his childhood, he had trouble communicating and being social with others. Now, he is a public speaker who is raising awareness about what it is like to live with autism.
Tarasewicz received the 2013 Temple Grandin Award, presented by Future Horizons Publishers in Texas. This award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals with autism making a difference in today's world.
Benjamin Tarasewicz is doing just that.
The Fairview High School senior has reached several thousand students and community members in the Denver metro area over the past two years. He has moved his audiences to both laughter and tears with a message of hope and perseverance. Benjamin inspires people in all walks of life to meet the challenges in their own lives.
Tarasewicz's mother, Malva, has written a book called "Benjamin Breaking Barriers: Autism - A Journey of Hope."
It tells the story of how Benjamin developed from a non-verbal, severely autistic toddler to being the engaging performer/speaker that he is today. Aside from talking to audiences, Tarasewicz is also an accomplished violinist and singer.
"Benjamin Breaking Barriers" is intended to help other parents as well as teachers and anyone who deals with autism. Malva Tarasewicz can tackle any topic related to autism spectrum disorder. She has been her son's primary therapist and helper throughout his life.
You can hear Benjamin talk Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Louisville Public Library at 951 Spruce St. in Louisville.
To learn more about Benjamin Tarasewicz and his journey with autism: http://www.benjaminbreakingbarriers.com/.
Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University in animal science who lives with autism. She is renowned author on the subject of autism spectrum disorder.
Grandin has raved about "Benjamin Breaking Barriers:"
"I really liked the way Benjamin was 'stretched' by his mother to achieve new things. Too many kids on the autism spectrum are over protected. Fixations were directed into creative, useful activities."
April is Autism Awareness Month. To learn more: http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2014/04/10/video-siblings-speak-their-school-their-brother-autism.
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