Everyone at the JL Foundation, especially Joey Lowenstein, was very moved and excited to receive a warm and heartfelt testimonial from the parent of an autistic person who was able to attend Extreme Sports Camp because of the JL Foundation. Here is the testimonial of Susan Glairon, who wrote to us about her son, Eliot.
Our son, Eliot Glairon, attended Extreme Sports Camp the week of August 11-16, 2013.
Eliot is a sweet 21-year-old CU engineering student who was diagnosed at 17 months with PDD-NOS (autism). Although he has classic signs of autism such as poor eye contact and poor social skills, his most debilitating issue is a severe video game addiction, which is related to his lack of social skills. The addiction can be so severe that at times he misses meals, sleep, showers and classes. He has lost three good programming jobs to videogaming. As a result he is now on Social Security, which we hope can be a bridge to eventual employment.
Eliot tends to be very sedentary, opting for sitting with the computer over any other activities. His addiction is heartbreaking as his IQ is in the Superior range and while he was in high school he did amazing things. He attended Johns Hopkins Gifted and Talented program at Dublin City University and went to Ireland alone. He attended Texas A & M SMaRT Camp and was a Davidson Scholar who attended University of Nevada’s Think Camp. He also received an IB diploma in high school.
Eliot’s videogame addiction has also impacted his enthusiasm for other interests. In middle school he started and led a Dungeons and Dragons Club where 25 students would participate. He read voraciously. He loved math and math challenges. He played the violin and was in the Longmont Symphony Orchestra.
At times it’s difficult to get Eliot to participate in other activities outside of his laptop. That’s why camp was so important. He even said afterwards that it showed him there were more interesting things to do. At camp he learned to stand while wakeboarding and he climbed the more difficult route during rock climbing. He also participated in field trips and was very social with the counselors and empathetic towards the other campers. The camp staff made sure it was a technology-free week for him.
Seeing the positive impacts of this week on his outlook towards his future, we wish he could have attended camp for a longer portion of the summer. He is normally totally sedentary.
Eliot would not have been able to attend the camp without help from the JL Foundation. He receives $710/month for Social Security and lives in a Section 8 apartment. He has school loans. We are unable to help him financially as my husband was laid off in Sept. 2012. We had saved $700 from a security deposit on an apt. he lived in, and that is what we used to pay for camp. We so appreciate the JL Foundation helping with the cost of tuition. Thank you so much!