February 11, 2015

Hunter with dad, Chad
Hunter with dad, Chad

Hunter’s Autism Specials – is based in McKinney, Texas and provides both products and services for families and businesses within the Dallas Fort Worth area. Hunter’s Autism Specials was set up by the parents of eight-year-old Hunter, who has autism.

The Hunter’s Autism Specials website states the following:

‘Hi, my name is Hunter and I am 8 years old. I have Autism. For those of you unfamiliar with this disability, it effects 1 out of 68 births. There are different levels of this disability and they put it under one umbrella.
My parents had me diagnosed when I was 2 ½ because I still didn’t have any true words. I was then given the label of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). I am very high functioning. I am for the most part non-verbal. This is pretty common within the Autism world. I do get excited, therefore I flap my hands and jump up and down from stimulation overload.
Just like my parents, everyone loves to show their support & spirit for the things they are passionate about. For years we searched high and low trying to find an “Autism” themed full size flag which we could hang outside highlighting our passion towards “Autism Awareness”. As a result of not being able to locate this product, my parents decided to design one themselves and make it available to YOU… The “U.S.A.utism” flag.
Thanks for your passion and support towards this ever growing community we call Autism!’

We loved all the information and resources that the website provides and decided to get in touch with Hunter’s father, Chad, to learn more about Hunter and Hunter’s Autism Specials. Below is my interview with him.

Hunter with younger brother Hudson
Hunter with younger brother Hudson

May I ask when Hunter was diagnosed with autism?

Chad – He was 2 ½ years old, and he is almost 9. At the time, there were only two doctors in Dallas who could give an official diagnosis of “Autism”.

Can you tell me a little about Hunter?

Chad – Hunter is a “High Functioning” Non-verbal child with Autism. He has been going to special schools full time since the age of 3. He is a very healthy, happy young boy. He is very loving, and if he likes you he is more than happy to share his love with you. Some of Hunters hobbies include: Playing on his iPad, watching his DVD’s, swimming, riding his bike, being outside where he can run and play chase with his brother, and anyone else who wants to play.

Hunter’s Autism Specials Autism provide varying discounts from local businesses so that families are able to experience and attend local ammonites and functions. They include and post reviews from these businesses which might help families when planning their next outing.

We therefore asked Chad what their personal experiences have been as a family in dining out and going on day trips in general, and have they experienced any challenges or difficulties.

Chad – Yes, but more so when it’s just my wife, she is petite and not very intimidating, but I on the other hand, can be very intimidating and I am far from small! I believe that no one wants to mess with PAPA Bear, and therefore I don’t see a lot of it! The most recent issues for my wife, have been stares, whispering, and in a few cases people telling her “Can’t you control your kid.” She responds with “I am sorry, he doesn’t mean any harm, he is Autistic”. Most the time those people have nothing more to say. One occasion while entering a restaurant, Hunter ran ahead of us, went to the nearest table, and grabbed one of the individuals French fries off their plate. We quickly ran over to the family, apologized, and offered to purchase them a whole new order. That family was very understanding, and declined our offer. A very similar situation happened, but this other person was not so understanding! Hunter took a french fry off a man’s plate who was all by himself. He was very upset what Hunter had done, and the look in his face reflected someone who was in shock. My wife apologized and explained why he did what he did. Even after the explanation, the man continued with his dirty looks. At this time my wife went over and threw $5 on the table, and said; “Here, go buy some new French fries… NOW STOP Staring!”

About the author 

Jo Worgan

Jo Worgan is a published author, writer and blogger. She has a degree in English Literature. She writes about life with her youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum. Jo tweets (@mummyworgan) and is also a freelance columnist for the Lancaster Guardian. ‘My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available on Kindle now, along with her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years.

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