Boy works hard to share autism awareness

Courtesy photo
Max Boyer, 12, with Jessica Ross from Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. Boyer, who has autism, will be speaking at the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on May 10 at Coors Field about his work in spreading awareness on autism.
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From the outside Max Boyer looks like the average 12-year-old kid. But on the inside, Boyer deals with life and situations a little differently. The ups and downs of each day come a little harder for the high functioning autistic Eagleview Elementary fifth grader.

To help others understand his struggles, Boyer has turned to his passion for art by creating drawings that describe what he’s feeling inside.

“I knew I had autism, I didn’t quite understand it. Then I was informed that I can’t get rid of autism, there is not cure for it,” Boyer said. “Everyone is so confused with me and how I’m so different, but I’m stuck with autism, it’s in my body. And my artwork expresses to everyone how I feel.”

Now, with help from his mom Rebecca Miller, Boyer is compiling his artwork into a book called . Each drawing also comes with an essay written by Boyer to help describe what the drawing is portraying.

Watching her son’s dedication to the book is almost mind boggling for Miller. To say she’s extremely proud would be an understatement. Miller’s watched Boyer’s struggles over the years, but she’s also watched his amazing growth into the kid he is today. Although she’s always had faith in her son, not everyone was on board. It wasn’t until attending Eagleview Elementary School in Thornton that Boyer began to prove the naysayers wrong.

“When Max was little he was kicked out of so many different schools. People would say he’s unteachable and would never learn to read or write,” she said. “And then he went to Eagleview and started in their autism program and that was the major turning point. Now he’s at reading level and doing amazing, learning new things every day.”

Boyer’s drive to write the book is also part of his effort to bring awareness to autism. This month he also spent time in different classrooms at Eagleview talking with his fellow classmates and answering questions about autism as part of National Autism Awareness month, which is April. He said he wants people to understand him better and to realize that he’s actually more like his classmates rather than different.

“For the younger kids I read a story to them in case they don’t understand my art,” Boyer said. “The stories might be easier for some kids to understand autism.”

Boyer will also be speaking at the annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks on May 10 at Rockies Field. His artwork will also be on display during the walk, which raises money and awareness for autism.

“We never gave up, and look where we are today,” Miller said. “If this book can make life easier for just one person it’s all worth it.”

Miller is currently seeking out publishers. She’s hoping to have the book published in the next couple months. Once that goal is accomplished and books are purchased, Miller and Boyer plan to donate the proceeds to nonprofit organizations that support autism.

For more information on contact Miller at insightintotheautisticmind@gmail.com.