The Marine Corps helped instill in Rico Winston a strong belief in duty. So when his son was diagnosed with autism, he knew what he must do. He immersed himself in learning about autism, and advocating for research and services to help others like his son.Read More
Read more about: participant
People from all over the country are joining SPARK, and they want to share their stories. From anecdotes about registering for SPARK to accounts of how families dealt with diagnoses, SPARK community members are sharing their experiences with one another.
Meet some of our SPARK participants by exploring this section.
Kaylee Lurvey may go years without saying a word, and then speak a complete sentence. Her family hopes researchers will discover ways to unlock speech and other skills in people like Kaylee.Read More
Leigh Merryday Porch, a mother of a son with autism, wants to help researchers find out why autism affects people so differently. That’s one of the reasons she joined SPARK.Read More
Dylan Robey loves insects, all of them, even the dreaded cockroach. Like many people with autism, Dylan has what researchers call a special interest, in his case, in bugs. Others might call it a passion for the unappreciated.Read More
After enrolling in SPARK, the Meiles learned that their son has a change in the POGZ gene. The diagnosis helps explain a mysterious health issue.Read More
Sandra Sermone refused to wait. She had seen her son Tony through heart surgery, a feeding tube, brain scans, countless blood tests, and medical appointments. This little boy who struggled to eat, talk, and play was getting worse. Sermone had three things: a telephone, a computer, and an inability to be discouraged. She would find an answer for what was happening to her child.Read More