Autistic Teen in Butler County Thrives in Junior ROTC

By: Amy Bingham
By: Amy Bingham

The number of American school children facing the complex disorder known as autism is startling.

It affects one in every 175 kids, ages four to 17.

Last week we showed you some area families faced with the diagnosis, and explored what's on the horizon to help autistic children lead full and productive lives.

Amy Bingham introduces us to another autistic teen who is flourishing in an unexpected environment.

The Navy Junior ROTC program in Butler County recently welcomed a new member, 15-year-old Jeremiah Beatty.

Jeremiah is also changed because of a recent spring break trip to Hawaii, flying over with 25 other cadets and 10 chaperones including his special education teacher.

It was a groundbreaking trip for the teen was been diagnosed with autism at the age of three.

Jeremiah's mother says years of intense treatment and therapy followed, and it appears his hard work is finally paying off.

Still she couldn't believe it when her son was invited to make the journey to Hawaii.

But once she realized the invitation was sincere, Michelle set about making plans for Jeremiah to go, and now, he's forged a bond with other cadets that will never be broken.

Jeremiah has a 17-year-old brother at Butler County High School who is also autistic.

Their mother is considering enrolling him in the ROTC program because she says it's important to continue testing their limits, to see how much they can accomplish.

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