The term “Autism” is a blanket term for a wide-range of behavioral and sensory symptoms that are unique and individual. Because my late husband, John Hicks, MD, was a pediatrician who specialized in assisting with autism, I have had the privilege spanning three decades in getting to know the beauty in individuals living with autism, although none have affected me with the intensity that daily life with my son Joey delivers. 

Joey is the ultimate teacher in unconditional love as he, himself, cannot be conditioned. No amount of cajoling will force Joey to act differently from his internal guidance of what feels good to him. I cannot force any expectations on him other than to simply be in my presence and ultimately all I have control over is my love for him. He moves through his day with eyes wide open to the moment, with no feeling of lack or shortage. He allows each day to unfold, certainly with preferences, but ultimately trusting his desires will be met. If they are not, he doesn’t use it as an excuse to deter him from seeking joy. Without any malice, jealousy, or superego, he is simply pure good. 

 Read more about the people who helped make The Joey Bar a reality.