Stephen Shore was diagnosed with strong autistic tendencies at a very young age.
Doctors told his parents they had never seen a child so sick, and that he should be institutionalised.
Today Mr Shore is a professor of special education at a New York university and travels the world sharing his story, providing insight into autism.
"I'm experiencing more sensory input perhaps than most people," he says.
"I can hear the piano that's playing in the background, I can see what's going on outside, [and] I hear a lot of background noise."
Mr Shore was born a normal, healthy boy, but at 18 months old he lost his communication skills and began having meltdowns.
"With the diagnosis of strong autistic tendencies, psychotic and atypical development, the prognosis of my future was an institution," he says, "and if things went really really well, perhaps some simple job in some sheltered workshop."
But that wasn't good enough for his parents, who ignored doctors' recommendations and began teaching him at home.
Although he was non-verbal until four, he surpassed all expectations and began attending schools.
"That's when I started developing special interests, for example, I would start taking apart watches with a kitchen knife, look at the hands the gears, and then put it all back together again," says Mr Shore.
His skills expanded, and now he spends his time lecturing at New York's Adelphi University and travelling the world educating people about autism.
"The potential for people with autism is unlimited just like everyone else," he says. "It's just a matter of providing support and education that focuses on the needs with autism."
Neil Stuart of Autism New Zealand says the perception of those living with autism needs to change.
"Sometimes autism gets depicted in the media as people rocking in the corner or a computer geeky whizz-kid, but in reality, people are living in the community everywhere and taking an active part," he says.
And the case of Mr Shore is a living testament to those in doubt.
source: newshub archive