HOUSTON, Tx. - The competition at this robotics tournament hosted at young women`s college prep was fierce, but Julian Gibson and his classmates from Pershing Middle School were ready for the challenge.
And the Gibson family excels at overcoming challenges. You see, at age 4, Julian was diagnosed with Autism.
“This is kinda like a miracle for us,” says Deante Gibson, Jualian’s father. “When we were diagnosed, at 4 years old, the doctor told us that he would not be able to pursue higher education, wouldn`t be able to play sports.”
But through early detection, hard work, and the support from classmates, teachers and family - Julian has overcome many obstacles. From his first season on the football team, to his participation in this robotics class that uses computer programmed Legos to navigate an obstacle course.
One of Julian’s favorite teachers, Djuana Bossette shares, “I took him with me, brought him to the room, took out a set of Legos and he said 'ooh fun' and we`ve been doing it ever since.”
A program like this can really have an impact on Julian’s future.
“They use robotics at … he can go anywhere he want to,” Bossette explains.
But when you ask Julian about his future, he sounds like a typical kid. When Julian’s dad asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, Julian responded, “James Harden,” one of the stars of the Houston Rockets.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and the advice The Autism Society has for parents echoes the words of wisdom from the gibbons: detect early.
Julian’s mother, Miesha Gibson explained, “The younger they are, the more you can help them.”
Because denial gets you nowhere, and acceptance leads to progress.