Skip navigation

Calls to Action

Marvin's Story: Autism, Acceptance and The NY Jets Drumline

This guest post is by Kara, a mother of 3 from New Jersey.

I am not a good writer so please bear with me however, given a chance to brag about my amazing son I had to jump on the opportunity.

My little boy Marvin has autism. When Marvin was about 3 or 4 years old, I - a diehard Jets fan - decided to take him to a game. To my surprise, he sat in his seat and was mesmerized by the players. On our way home he began to sing the national anthem (he never heard it before but at game he heard it and taught it to himself). I had season tickets so I decided to take him to all the games with me after that.

He started asking questions and holding conversations of the game. Now don't get me wrong, even today he doesn’t understand the game. He just knows there are 2 teams playing and the Jets better win (he likes to do touchdown dances when they score!)

Marvin is now 7 years old. He and I have gone to training camp and other events and he now has a love for the cheerleaders. He asked one of the Jets football players, Stephen Hill for money. When Stephen asked for what Marvin said "well my momma wont’ give me money and I need it to take the cheerleaders on a date!”

This year the Jets have a new drumline team called “The Aviators.” Marvin saw them and although he had only 3 drum lessons he couldn't stand still he was so excited. On the ride home he asked if we could make him a 'Jets drum" to match the other Jets drummers. That week we painted one of his little drums green, tied a strap to it with some drumsticks and he was ready.

Then when we went to the game on Nov 3 Marvin started playing his drums when the drumline came out before the game. I just figured he would play on the side. Than something amazing happened…


They were simply amazing. He absolutely LOVED it! He played along following their movements and following along with their beats. When he was done fans came up to him giving him high-fives and even wanting to take pictures with him.

This was a moment in both our lives we will never forget. As a mom that moment meant so much. There was a sense of pride that he will be OK. He proved to me no matter what he will adapt. The Aviators will never know how much they touched my family. To just accept him for him. No excuses, no apologies.

Marvin was accepted into their circle and he kept up with them. It was just a great moment in life. He can do anything and he makes me proud every single day. No matter the tantrums, breakdowns, lack of sleep, etc. All of that just washed away.

Moments like this just overfill my heart with love. It made me think of Marvin’s loves. He loves the number 10, he loves things blue he loves pizza he loves his brother and sister. He just proved to me we need more love in life and he definitely shared it that day he played with the Aviators.

So, publically, I would like to thank them for not judging my son and opening their world to my son’s world and making great music together. I’ll always be thankful for that.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.