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12-year-old speaks out about autism

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 7:35 PM CDT
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Pineville, La. (KALB) - One bold 12-year-old says he wants to clear up stigmas some people have about autism, and social media has become one of his biggest assets.

Parker Maddox started making social media videos about one month to speak up for people like himself, who are dealing with autism.

"I am trying to raise awareness for people who can't speak for themselves," Parker said.

Carol Maddox, Parker’s mom, spoke about the struggles her son had to overcome.

“When we started school, a teacher told me, ‘you need to think about putting him in special ed',” Carol explained.

However, that is not what happened. Instead, another teacher complimented Parker and gave Carol some advice.

“Your son is brilliant,” Carol recited the words the second teacher told her. “Do not stop fighting for your son. You need to go to the pediatrician and talked to them.”

The pediatrician diagnosed him with autism. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes autism as a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavior challenges.

Parker now spends his spare time educating people on social media, and one of the people who ran across his videos, was Julie Blalock, a web producer at KALB.

"Carol, Parker's mom reached out to us at KALB and shared a video of Parker singing," Blalock explained. "She wanted to show there's a little bit of positivity and good things in the world when everything just feels so negative."

However, Carol and Parker did not know that Blalock deals with the same battle.

“I’m also on the autism spectrum,” Blalock explained. “I have Asperger’s, and I thought it was really cool seeing a young boy, showing his talents and he was very open about it... Parker is very vocal about how he wants to kind of be an advocate for other people on the spectrum, who may not be able to speak up...to be that [kind of] advocate at such a young age, and that’s what makes this kid special.”

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