Here is my face of Autism. My name is Justice and I look just like every other 19 year-old, except I have Autism. I was diagnosed at 15 months old because my Grandmother, Momma Lil, noticed I didn't speak, didn't respond to my name or make eye contact*. At 19 months old I started 8 hours a week of home school, which quickly escalated to 20 hours ABA and two hours of speech.
Six months after that, I was enrolled in the Developmental Disabilities Institute for full days of school and ten hours ABA home school as well as two hours of speech. September 2005, I was enrolled at DDI's Young Autism Program and I had started to request independently.
I can swim underwater; I can go online and use the Internet. I can write my name and read. I can complete a puzzle in record time, even for the first time. I speak answering to commands or stating my needs as well as singing whole songs. I love the Black Eye Peas! I am in a public school, but in an autism-based program. I have also joined LI Traditional TKD IN 2007 and I am a little dragon. As of February 2010, I have earned a white and yellow belt. In December of 2010 I earned my yellow belt.
I am also enrolled in the Land and Sea program. With this organization I am able to swim in the pool at St. Joseph's college on available Sundays. They have a swim and sail program at the Sayville Yacht Club and surfing at Gilgo Beach. Also included is a basketball program in the Center Moriches School gym once a week. Dance classes at Arthur Murray. I love the Lindy and to Salsa dance! Bike riding clinics sponsored by Suffolk PAL is teaching me how to ride a bike without training wheels.
On March 2012 I was in the Friend's of St. Patrick - St. Patricks Day Parade in Rocky Point. I presented the queen with a handmade shamrock apron and she gave me a KISS! Then I represented Justice 4 Autism in the parade.
In 2013 I have gone on all the rollercoasters at Disney's Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot Center. I have started Music Therapy and I love all the instruments and being able to express myself through song.
In 2016, I have participated in Happy Fest USA Obstacle Course. I started my own Arts and Crafts business called Handmade by Justice. (check me out on Facebook) Now I am learning how to earn money and manage it.
Currently I have started High School and enjoy working in the school store. I have participated in three events in the Special Olympics.
Our Mission Statement:
This foundation has been set up in honor of Justice Rodriguez. Its mission is to increase public awareness, acceptance and to provide funding for autism based programs.