For Michigan family with autistic son, Jeep is more than just a - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

For Michigan family with autistic son, Jeep is more than just a means of transportation

Jamison and Kevin Strall with their '53 Willys Wagon (Source: WTOL) Jamison and Kevin Strall with their '53 Willys Wagon (Source: WTOL)

Kevin Strall loves his classic '53 Willys Wagon. But it is more than a classic Jeep to his family. It has changed his son's entire world.  Jamison has autism and they had their first Jeep when he was just 5 years old.

“With an autistic child, the whole world works against them. The sites, the sounds the meeting people,” said Kevin.
 
The Stralls are from Southgate, Michigan, just north of Monroe and part of a group called Michigan Jeeps.

Their family has traveled over 8 states and Canada in one of Toledo's famous Jeeps.

“There can be a very hard life when you have a disability like autism because it’s not an open disability,” said Kevin. “In the early years, he's 24 now, but when he was like 5 people didn't know that much about it and they were just like well he's the kid that doesn't talk, he's the kid that can't be around dogs, or he's the kid that doesn't like to go to Meijer, or whatever or he's the kid that wears diapers when he's 5.”

“It took a long time to expand Jamison’s world even with a disability he can go and camp in the woods and he can run trails for 12 hours and roll a Jeep and he gets his clothes dirty and stuff, and to people like him, that's a big deal,” said Kevin.

“It’s a large disruption in their life. It would be like for us, losing our jobs. Just to have a dirty shirt can be something they can't get past in a day. So for him to get to the point that he can get a mud stain on his pants and he won't rub on it for two or three hours straight. He can get a mud stain now and he looks at it and he lets it go.”
 
Jamison isn't shy any more either. All because of his time under the hood, and in the passenger’s seat, lifted up by a family behind the Jeep emblem.

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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