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How I Helped My Son on the Autism Spectrum Create His Own Superhero Universe

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I’m a Brooklyn born comic book artist/writer, graphic artist and draftsman. Art is my life and it presents me with a ton of challenges, yet none are more challenging or exciting than being a single father to an amazing 7-year-old boy named Jacob.

Jacob really loves superheroes. Just give him five minutes and Jake will tell you everything there is to know about them. His closet is full of costumes, enchanted hammers, magical capes and utility belts.

Autism became a known part of Jacob’s life when he was 4 years old. The loud noises of children playing would send him running out of the classroom for silence. His attention span was short and he’d constantly wander around the class as if the other children didn’t exist.

He couldn’t contribute to class discussions because his responses were disconnected and completely unrelated to the subject, all he wanted to do was talk about superheroes. Looking for a way to communicate with Jake, I turned to the dozens of refrigerator drawings depicting him as this magnificent superhero.

After several weeks, I translated his drawings into comic book style characters that he could relate to. I incorporated his daily lessons with my artwork to make flashcards. Using sight words, I was able to help Jacob learn to identify words before moving on to larger sentences.

By combining art with Jake’s love of superheroes, I was able to pull him into learning. In June of 2017, I was laid off from my job as a senior technical writer and decided to invest my full attention and resources into Jake’s future.

In an effort to fulfill my son’s dream of being a hero, Jetpulse Comics was created two months later.

Jetpulse Comics is a father and son project that was created to uplift, encourage and raise awareness about children and other individuals all over the world who are on the autism spectrum. It also gives Jacob the opportunity to write his own comic book stories and shows others what life is like with autism.

There’s also educational content on our website and we have added some fun sensory activities and educational material for children in grades K to second grade. Jetpulse Comics has given my son a tremendous amount of self-confidence and his grades have improved considerably. What makes Jetpulse Comics so unique is that our comic book adventures and characters are all created by a 7-year-old boy with autism.

We work together as a team to build his incredible superhero universe.

In April, Jake and I printed the first in a series of children’s easy readers focusing on basic sight words. We’ve branched out and started working with other organizations to provide in-depth product reviews and family events like, “Sensory Friendly Films.”

What started as an effort to help one child, turned into a community for all parents and children to enjoy.

For Jake and I, Jetpulse Comics is more than capes and bad guys. It’s about empowering our children and teaching them to unleash their inner heroes.

Learn more at Jetpulse Comics.

Banner image screenshot of Jetpulse Comics website.

Originally published: October 29, 2018
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