Jeremiah Robinson, an eighth grader at Illinois’ Jefferson Middle School, was diagnosed with autism at three years old. Last summer, he and his parents, Prince and Mallory Robertson, published Jero’s Journey: Finding Hope in Autism, an illustrated children’s book meant to serve as a resource for helping children on the autism spectrum.
According to a report by Smile Politely.com, the idea for the book began during a car trip, when Jeremiah began bringing up various memories from his childhood, and Mallory Robertson began typing them into her phone. She and her family later entered the memories in a Google document, which gradually evolved into Jero’s Journey.
Robertson, who spoke to Smile Politely for their report, said efforts by caring educators, such as Jeremiah’s second grade resource teacher, have gone a long way in helping him and encouraging understanding in his classmates throughout his school years.“Just bringing that awareness has made his journey a lot easier,” Robertson said. “We wanted it to be for other kids to have that awareness of what autism is, how children on the spectrum can feel. We talk about what autism can look like and Jeremiah’s experiences of feeling sad when he’s not understood. I wanted teachers to understand; I kept thinking back to that second-grade teacher.”
Robertson said that she and her family’s goal is to help people understand that no one person with autism is the same, and to show that Jeremiah is “an overcomer. He’s had a lot of obstacles, but he doesn’t give up.”
Robertson added that her family is coping reasonably well with the Coronavirus quarantine.
“Believe it or not, everyone is doing well except the two-year-old,” she was quoted as saying. “Jeremiah is doing pretty well…we’ve been a little more lax with when he goes to bed, he has limited video game time…if he was in school he wouldn’t have any video game time. We’ve tried to incorporate some academics into his day [this was before Unit 4 began online learning]. He’s learned ‘if I get it done now, then I can do what I want.’”