PLAINVILLE – An 11-year-old boy is changing the way we think about Autism by trademarking the word, “Awesomautism.”
Matthew Blake was diagnosed with Asperger’s at 4-years-old and was told he was on the autism spectrum.
The day of his diagnosis, he went home and told his grandmother, “I have Awesomautism.”
“I had tears in my eyes and we were like that’s the most amazing word we ever heard and from that point on we never corrected him we always said he had Awesomautism,” his mother Stacy said.
The family noticed after putting the word on hats and t-shirts, others started to catch on and using the word too.
“I like to have awesome in it because it makes like diagnosed people feel really special about their lives and not feel completely down,” Matthew said. “With Awesomautism you completely feel like you’re a whole different person. If someone bullies you, you know that you’re not different from anyone.”
The family decided to trademark the word so that it could be Matthew’s word and one that others can embrace.
“Our dream for all of us, our son, and all the people out there with different forms of autism is, we want Awesomautism to be a new diagnosis for autism that way people feel they’re something special,” his father Bill said.
Last year, the Blake family was working to get Matthew a North Star Foundation service dog for his Awesomautism.
With the help of the community, Matthew was able to raise enough money for the dog Sansa to be his.
“It feels like I actually have a best friend,” he said. “She has been able to calm me down completely better than my parents could actually.”
Stacy said Sansa has helped Matthew in remarkable ways, curing his fear of storms, stopping him from having any episodes and helping him sleep in his own bed for the first time in years.
“The first time she was here, she was doing a sleepover for the weekend, Matthew slept in his bed for the very first time since my husband went into cardiac arrest back in 2007,” she said.
Matthew has inspired his family in more ways than one. He was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome and was blind in one eye for years. He had surgery last year allowing him to see again.
“Matthew can take anything and change it into anything positive,” his mother said. “Once you meet him you can’t take life for granted anymore, you see everything through his eyes.”
The Blake family is hoping to sell “Awesomautism,” merchandise and donate a portion of the proceeds to Autism awareness.