Meet Jeff and Jonathan R.

Jeff and Jonathan R.


I am not going to let fear rule me.
Jonathan R., Jeff R. and family
Jonathan R.

I’m a dad on the autism spectrum. I was officially diagnosed in 2010, but I always knew I was different than other people. My 25-year-old son Jonathan has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with autism as a young child. All my life, before I was diagnosed, I felt like I was always messing up. My executive functioning and thought processes were all messed up. Basically, I had to learn to go through life copying what others were doing and how they were acting, although I didn’t understand the purpose and reason for it. Today, I find my analytical approach to life is a strength and embrace it. But I’ve also learned to do my best and let God handle the rest.

Autism Speaks provided me with critical resources, including information about a dual autism and Down syndrome diagnosis. Jonathan has quite a few communications difficulties. He is brave, has conquered his sensory and noise issues, learned to vacuum the house, get a haircut, use a blow dryer, etc. There is something in him which says, “I am not going to let fear rule me.” I am trying to learn from him and use what I learn in my own life - he is my hero.

Read Jonathan and Jeff's story here.

Learn more about the dual Down syndrome and autism diagnosis.

The story shared above represents the experience, views and perspectives of the individual(s) highlighted. We aim to share stories across the spectrum and throughout the life span, but the information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals.