This week on Seizing Life® we speak with Barbara D’Amora about the life of her son Nicholas, who lived with autism and epilepsy and became an active and inspirational advocate for the autistic community despite being nonverbal. Barbara recalls the early days of Nick’s life and how a program “unlocked” Nick, allowing him to communicate with the world around him and igniting a passion for advocacy that Nick pursued until his passing from a seizure earlier this year.
Nicholas D’Amora was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 17 months old and later developed epilepsy in early puberty. Nick was nonverbal and unable to communicate for the first 12 years of his life until his mother, Barbara, learned of the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM), an amazing program that teaches communication skills to those in the autistic, nonverbal community. Barbara recalls how RPM “freed” her son and allowed her and her family to truly meet Nick for the first time and get to know his thoughts, feelings, personality, hopes and dreams. But more than that, once provided the tools to communicate with the world around him, Nick flourished in school and in life, becoming a passionate and powerful advocate. He and his mother conducted seminars and founded organizations focused on providing education, opportunities, and fulfilling lives for those living with autism. Nick’s advocacy routinely changed public perceptions of autism, earning him the nickname “Nick The Changer.” Barbara recalls her son’s incredible journey, shares his triumphs, hopes, and dreams, and discusses continuing his legacy of advocacy for the autism and nonverbal community.
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