By Bodie Bernosky
Every superhero has an origin story, this is mine. I am a warrior, student leader, autism advocate, swimmer and a great friend! SARRC helped me come out of my shell, I now believe in myself and I see my future and it is shining bright.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with autism at age 2. My parents were not quite sure what to do but were determined to find help. One day, my dad heard a local radio station doing a campaign called ‘’Action for Autism’’ benefiting SARRC. He made a mental note and reached out to SARRC shortly thereafter to find out how our family could get involved.
A short time later, in August 2008, I was enrolled in SARRC’s Community School program. When I first started at SARRC, I didn’t speak or make eye contact with anyone. The amazing team started early intervention services and got me speaking for the first time. By 3, I was a rather unstoppable chatterbox; I haven’t stopped talking since 2009! In May 2023, I will be on stage singing in front of a live audience for the first time ever. I have SARRC to thank for giving me my voice.
I know that SARRC changed my life. Every day I’m grateful for everything they taught me. I learned not only to talk but to follow the lead of a typical peer role model, a lesson I continue to use to this day. My first peer role model was my sister, and I remember my teachers at SARRC coming to the house to work with me and my sister and teaching both of us how to work together. It was through SARRC that I learned how to reach out, introduce myself, and make a new friend – a highly valued skill in the autism universe. As a result, I now have more friends in my inner circle than ever before! I am thriving thanks to SARRC’s methods and lessons that I keep in constant circulation in high school as I continue on my path to being my best self.
At school, I am a curious, sports-loving Gateway Warrior who loves NFL Football (especially the Cincinnati Bengals). I am proud to be a three-time Geography Bee champion and an emerging singer. I have a giant friend group of happy-go-lucky, smart and caring individuals who bring me joy, happiness, and pride to be who I am every day. Outside of school, I love swimming, playing soccer, creative writing and playing with my beautiful rapscallions of a dog pack.
SARRC has taught me that when you surround yourself with amazing, loving, caring, inclusive souls with high spirits you really can soar. There are so many incredible people at SARRC who helped me get to where I am today. I hope my story is one that can inspire others to soar to the same, magical heights.
Bodie Bernosky is currently a junior at Gateway Academy and has been part of the SARRC family since he was 2.