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The Boy Who Can An Isaac Williams story - by Taylor Dean

Isaac (18) is from Sidney, OH, where he grew up with his brother, Christian (22), and sister, China (27). Mostly raised in Sidney between the different households of his mother and father, Isaac shared that he now resides full-time in Englewood, OH with his mother, Tracey, and his step-father, Ken. While studying in the Health Science Academy at the Greene County Career Center, Isaac also takes on many different hobbies and talents that he has acquired throughout his years.

Isaac & Mom

Isaac hugs his mother (Tracey) and friends a lot. "I'm a very tactile person" he says, "I like to find someone and cling onto them for hours." This is especially true for someone like his mother, who has raised and supported Isaac all of his life he says. Tracey shared that during her journey of raising Isaac, her third and youngest child, doctor visits were a regular routine for the duo.

Isaac pacing in his bedroom while listening to music

Through all of his many medical experiences, Isaac says he has discovered a fault of the medical community that labels people with disabilities. As a child, doctors labeled Isaac as a high-functioning person with autism. When he was younger, Tracey moved Isaac to several different schools, as they felt the educational system did not have the means to support Isaac. Isaac felt the label "high-functioning" kept him from receiving certain resources.

Sometimes a place can get really loud, and feel chaotic and overwhelming because of the sounds. Isaac uses headphones to help muffle and suppress the sounds so that he can focus on concentrating. A teacher in one of his classes felt the headphones were "disrespectful", and wouldn't let Isaac wear them. Tracey and Isaac felt that Isaac's needs were not being met, as every child needs their own unique accommodations to succeed in the classroom.

Ever since his own experience with labels, Isaac says he dedicates school projects, papers, and even his personal free-time to research on how functioning labels on the disabled community are ineffective.

These two tiny dog statues represent some of the greatest loves and admirations in his and his family's life, says Isaac and Tracey. Harley and Cooper are the two family pets, which are viewed more as family members shares Isaac. Harley is a three year old yorkie, and Cooper is also three, but a beagle and boxer mix. Both dogs have spent the majority of their lives in Isaac's family home, and Isaac said that they were both adopted when they were just over a month old. Between his two dog family members at home, and his time volunteered at SICSA Pet Adoption Center, Isaac made it very clear that he is invested in working with and appreciating animals.

Isaac & Cooper
Harley

Isaac shared that has many talents apart from being an empathetic animal lover. He participates in ballet, jazz, drawing and artistry, bass playing, and broadway acting. All of these hobbies are big passions of Isaac's, as he says that he has dedicated a lot of time into pursuing his dreams and doing what he enjoys doing most.

The active dancer says he visits the classroom twice a week. Once for jazz class on Tuesdays, and again on Thursday for ballet class. He also shares that he spends roughly twenty-one hours a week of his life practicing these two genres of dance. Pretty much a part time job for Isaac. When asked about the drive behind this dedication, "I don't really know, I just really like it." For him, passion and dedication does not need an elaborate reasoning.

Isaac practicing ballet.

Isaac did not hide that he is extremely interested in broadway musicals. Because of this interest, it led to insight of why Isaac participates in dancing and acting. He shared that he has been involved in two productions of the same musical, Newsies, but when the musical is done Isaac is not always out of character.

His wardrobe consists of many outfits similar to those worn in 1899 when, according to Liz Stern (2012) who is a writer for the New-York Historical Society, the Newsboys Strike in New York City took place (Newsboys). Newsies is a musical based on the events of the Newsboys Strike of 1899The fashion style in the late 1800's and early 1900's consisted of headware called "newsboys hats" which are flat cap hats, tucked in shirts and high-wasited pants that are dull and neutral in color, and the main fabric and texture of clothing back then was wool.

Isaac showing off Bliant

Japanese culture and merchandise is another big interest of Isaac's, as he talked about different anime shows while showing off his new doll from Japan. Bliant is the character doll's name, and Tracey shared that he is an extremely customizable two hundred dollar purchase. He is one of Isaac's greatest prized possessions, and he says he is hoping soon his collection will grow.

Humanoid characters that Isaac created on the side of his homework.

Isaac's love of characters is shared throughout all of hobbies. Most illustrations that he draws come out of the creation of a story, and that is where he says all of the different characters come into play. Isaac shared that these drawings are humanoids, in an alien-dominated universe where human-like people are pets to the aliens. When he shared these drawings, they were mostly located on the corners of his homework and notes. He says his imagination wonders a lot, so these drawings fill the pages of his school notebooks for when lectures and note-taking are just not cutting it.

Expressions of Characters

Although Isaac is very good at drawing, he says his vision has depleted after being diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). Tracey informed that his diagnoses took doctors and specialists three years to figure out, which has resulted in Isaac becoming legally blind. Isaac says this vision impairment has not stopped him though, and he participates in detailed drawings and artworks regularly.

Isaac & Christian

Isaac shares that Christian is one of his many role models, as all older brothers usually are to their younger siblings. Education and being informed are on Isaac's top priority list, and he says he believes Christian is one of the most knowledgable people in his life that he could learn from. "I talk him up all of the time" says Isaac, "he's extremely smart."

Isaac poking Christian
Isaac's school I.D.

Isaac was very happy to share his thoughts on gender and identity. He stated clearly that he believes, "gender is a social construct, and just another way to put labels on people." Isaac shared that he only recently has been referred to as "Isaac" in his school setting, as him and Tracey talked about how Tracey had to go to the school to make sure that each teacher and staff member were aware of this change. For Isaac, he says that this school I.D. with his desired name on it is an important step in the right direction for his identity.

"No matter the obstacle, Isaac has survived it and then only grown stronger", says Tracey, "God has big plans for him."

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