Home Depot employee goes extra mile to spread autism awareness

By Rick Elmhorst, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, April 03, 2017, 3:33 PM EDT

April is Autism Awareness Month and a Lakeland mom is doing her part to spread that awareness.

  • April is Autism Awareness Month
  • Home Depot employee spreading awareness at workplace
  • Iris Osorio made homemade autism awareness pins 
  • Osorio's son, Joseph, is diagnosed with autism

Iris Osorio made homemade autism awareness pins and handed them out at the North Lakeland Home Depot to fellow employees.

She is not only spreading awareness for others, but for her son Joseph who has autism.

“The more I learn, the more I feel like I can have this bond that everybody thinks you can’t ever have with a kid with autism because they don’t know how to show affection,” she said.

Joseph was diagnosed with autism when he was one and Iris has made sure he gets therapy and lots of focused attention. 

“He learned how to talk. He couldn’t talk at all before so everything that he does, I always encourage him to do more,” she said.

Joseph seems to thrive on his mother’s encouragement.

“Whoever is out there with autism, if someone tells you about something you can’t do, prove to them how you can do it,” Joseph said.

Iris and Joseph share a special bond. She feels like having a child with autism has made her a better parent and person.

“This is what it is to have a child,” she said. “Not only is he my child. He is someone special. He has his little special bond with me and he’s my baby regardless of the age.”