This guest post is by Ramon Perez who’s son Joey is on the autism spectrum.
Dear GameStop and Autism Speaks,
My name is Ramon Perez and my wife’s name is Silvia Perez. And I would like to briefly thank GameStop and the organization of Autism Speaks for everything they represent and what they do for my son. My son’s name is Joel “Joey” Perez and he is autistic. My son is gifted in the way he thinks and has the imagination that many wish to have. My son being 31 years old and getting diagnosed with mild autism at the age of 3. Growing up Joey has loved video games and has loved anything that has to do with fantasy. For the past 10+ years my son has visited every GameStop store in the Doral and Naples area. Now let me tell you, how excited my son gets. Whenever, he visits the Dolphin stores he always shakes hands with the employees who are currently working and same for the stores in Naples.
However, the GameStop store in International mall holds a special place in our hearts. The store manager Mariette,always greets my son with a huge smile filled with warmth that makes my son feel like he’s at home. She always gives Joey free shirts from conference, and so does the store managers from the Dolphin stores. He’s constantly being given free goodies. The staff members at international such as John, Melissa, Steven, Erika, Junior and etc. Are always talking to my son and giving him compliments. John in particular always talks to Joey and has Joey show off the different moves that characters from Street Fighter and Killer Instinct do. Erika always compliments Joey on his T-shirts since, his shirts revolve around his favorite anime’s such as, Attack on Titan and Naruto or his favorite games like Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, Mega Man, and other popular Nintendo characters.
I remember one day my son went to the store and sought out help from the GameStop family on how to figure out a puzzle in Legend of Zelda and the assistant store manager Melissa, grabbed a strategy guide and walked him through on how to get past that part. Joey always asks the employees on their thoughts on who the better fighter is and/or who would win if different gaming or anime universes ever crossed.
There’s not one GameStop my son has gone to for the past 10+ years that has not made him feel like he’s at home. On everyday trips every store has acknowledged him and made him feel like he is the store’s number one customer. For that I thank you GameStop, on embracing my son and his imagination. Thank you, Autism Speaks for everything you represent and for giving back to those who are autistic.
The Perez Family