JACK MAYOR AND JOSIE RUND of NAPERVILLE There were signs along the way - Jack's lack of eye contact at 3 months old, tapping toys to his mouth at 7 months old, early invention at 15 months; yet multiple doctors continued to tell mom, Diana that Jack didn't have autism, he was simply developmentally delayed.
“At the age of 6, we received his official diagnosis. I knew in my heart that it was autism,” Diana says. “We lived with false hope for 5 years, and it was a really hard time for our family.” Jack was also diagnosed with a severe form of OCD making routines mandatory and spontaneity impossible, which is often difficult living in a family of seven. Social relationships and friendships were challenging and Diana had to let get go of the stereo typical dreams a parent may have for their children, and take heed to the many blessings in Jack’s future.
Jack has calendar memory and super memory allowing the ability to recall precise details of any given day or moment since he was young. Jack is kind, polite, honest, and has an amazing ability to give speeches in public forums, but as he entered his freshman year at Neuqua Valley High School, he had no friends, sat alone and cried during lunch, and didn't want to go to school.
“We were then peered with an amazing girl named Josie Rund through Best Buddies,” Diana shares. “She changed my boy's life. She brought happiness to him. She gave him something that is priceless... her true friendship.” Jack is now active in Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Young Life Capernaum. He plays basketball and swims. As an ambassador for Best Buddies, Jack had a wonderful opportunity to speak in front of nearly 500 freshmen at Whitney Young HS and share his story with confidence. Watch, listen, be inspired: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJO1dcGdaUM #LookAtMeNow -Kristen Kucharski