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Philadelphia Flyers Inspire Autistic Child

Dan Carcillo is an inspirationA story about a mother who has grown up with the love for the Philadelphia Flyers, and her heartache in what she thought was a fairy-tail beginning to her life that turned life full of commitment.

McKinzie Brown Weiss grew up a Philadelphia girl through and through. She grew up in the regular American home where sports were a major part of life for her family and herself. She can remember as a five year old sitting on her Grandfathers lap watching the Philadelphia Flyers and had a crush on Center Peter Zezel. Her Grandfather whom she bonded with unlike most girls, watching hockey at his house remembers fondly many days of going to his home in Chestnut Hills, PA. He even took her to games until he passed in 1996.

Growing up was no different for McKinzie. She remained a loyal die-hard fan for the Philadelphia Flyers and continued to support the team she loved. Later in life, she met her husband, Rich while living with friends in Ohio in a chat room. Rich was a part of the US Air Force and stationed at Wright Patterson AFB. They continued their relationship, and it never once stopped her love for the Flyers.

[adinserter block=”2″]McKinzie later would get married to Rich. Life for McKinzie would change compared to most American married women living the Military life. Living that type of life style included Rich leaving up to once every other year. While married in the first year, they moved to Texas where Rich was stationed. Rich changed his job while in the Military, and this required the couple to move once again. This time, it was to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. Life was good for the couple, and then even better news came along to the Weiss’s. McKinzie was pregnant, and ready to bring a new part of the family and her life into the world.

They had been married for five years, and thought the day of bringing a child into the world would never happen for them. McKinize knew from day one, once she knew they were having a boy, Joey, that she was going to make him a little hockey player. She even bought Joey his first NHL Hockey Jersey before he was born. McKinzie set up Joey’s room like that of a Flyers theme. Orange and Black walls, and even his own style of a Hall Of Fame including the likes of Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke, and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz. McKinzie was 90% sure at the time there were no other Orange and Black rooms in any house or building in Vegas.

For the first year, Joey’s life was perfectly normal. Living a life that McKinzie thought was to be perfect, Rich and herself realized at eight-teen months old, something was different about Joey. Joey would have fits of constant screaming, and at times it didn’t seem he felt pain. One time he slammed his fingers so hard in a door that his finger nails all turned black and he began laughing. Shortly there-after they found out Joey was autistic on McKinzie’s birthday.

They learned quickly they had a battle for a very long time that was about to begin, something the Military can’t eliminate. Joey did become a Flyers fan very quickly, but also carried that love over into his school work. Joey has shown a love for the “rough stuff” in the NHL. His favorite player is Dan Carcillo, and he also loves Jody Shelly, Riley Cote, and Brian Boucher. McKinzie said that he even yells the “BOOSH” chant when Boucher makes a nice save. Joey is five years old now, and still battling being Autistic. He is learning to speak more, but still having communication issues. He is fighting as if in his own mind he is Dan Carcillo.

One time in school Joey was having an issue with another boy whom was playing rough with him and picking him in the face. This resulted in the other boy getting elbowed in the face by Joey. When questioned by a teacher, he replied he was Dan Carcillo. McKinzie believes his love for the Flyers is an outlet for him to release his frustrations that he builds up while battling Autism. Joey has shown great passion, and has led him to better days in therapy. McKinzie doesn’t work anymore, having a full time job in assisting Joey and taking him from one specialist to another constantly. The life McKinzie has been dealt is that of a true dedicated Mother.

Not giving up hope, her son has continuously shown signs of improvement. She fully believes that the Philadelphia Flyers have fueled that fire for Joey. She even stated that her cable bill is over $200 a month. Joey and McKinzie never miss a game. Joey even gets upset if there is a game with no fights in it. The following is from McKinzie personally about what message she would like readers to understand about Autism and how it can affect kids such as Joey.

[adinserter block=”1″]”As a parent of an autistic child I would want everyone to know when you see us out and our child looks like they are misbehaving it’s the autism. Please don’t stare or make rude comments it’s hard enough. Autism is growing and chances are if you haven’t yet you will know someone that has an Autistic child. Be a friend you would be amazed how many turn their backs after a diagnosis. Kindness and understanding is the best thing you can give a parent of an autistic child. Teach your children to accept others and to be kind. What I think he would want people to know is that Just because he can’t talk doesn’t mean that he is stupid, deaf or less human. Just because he acts strange doesn’t mean you have the right to treat him bad. Your words still hurt him. Behind the Autism he is just like any other kid. He didn’t have a choice in the mater. Get to know him and I promise you’ll love him.” For more info on Autism, please visit www.autism-society.org

If you want to read more from Bill visit his website, http://broadstreetbill.wordpress.com/

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