Joey Lowenstein was born in 1996, in Boca Raton, Florida to Norman and Roberta Lowenstein. Joey developed normally, but when he was 2, he suddenly lost his verbal language communication skills and slipped into his own world. It was as if a door had slammed shut; Joey didn’t even respond when his name was called. Joey was diagnosed with autism at 2 ½ years old. It was a lot for everyone to absorb, because in 1999 (14 years ago), very little was known about autism.
Joey is not alone. The CDC estimates that in 2012 about 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.1 Although Joey has classic autism, he is highly intelligent. That means that from a very young age, he has had to wrestle with very deep thoughts, ideas and goals that were trapped in his head, with no way of conveying them to others – until 2010.
It was in 2010 that Joey’s mom learned of RPM therapy (“Rapid Prompting Method”) founded by Soma Mukhopadhyay (“SOMA”). SOMA’s RPM therapy set Joey Free! After over a decade of silence, Joey had a voice and was able to finally share what was in his head with those around him. For most of us, the thought of living life with a perfect mind and no way to express thoughts, opinions, pain or happiness trapped in our heads, is literally unimaginable. Yet millions of children live this way even as their parents struggle to help. The JL Foundation wants to change that.
RPM has radically improved Joey’s life by allowing him to reveal ideas and concepts that he previously could not adequately communicate. With this new communication bridge, Joey recently shared a vision, to not only make people understand Joey and his own condition but to reveal the unique gifts of the many who are affected by autism. For example, in spite of Joey’s lack of verbal communication skills, he demonstrated an interest and aptitude for athletics from a very young age and at 8 years old began to learn how to snowboard. He has become an accomplished black diamond snowboarder and an athlete in many other sports.
Joey’s hope is that through the Joey Lowenstein Foundation (“JL Foundation”) and its focus on Athletics, Nutrition, Self-Development, RPM and Seizure Research (“ANSRS”(sm)) he will be able to provide the resources to help the many people who have autism find their own bridge to communicating who they are and what they want to do with their own gifts.