Posts tagged Gavin Schultz

This Kid!

Congrats Gavin Schultz, Class of 2016Gavin in graduation gown 2016

Here is a boy that has come so far and will go even farther because his mother, Cindy Schultz, would not let the diagnoses of autism stand in her way to help him succeed in life. Gavin has the same outlook on life. He is positive, inspiring, encouraging others with his words of wisdom. He went to elementary school in Racine. Then Cindy decided to homeschool him for middle school and high school.

Gavin at college 2016She could not be more proud of her son. He is very intelligent. He now attends Wisconsin Independent Learning College in Waukesha two afternoons a week. He along with other students do educational and vocational activities. They are involved in community activities and learn daily living skills.

He has become a public speaker and has spoke at a huge Autism One Conference for 3 years in a row in Chicago Il. He is working on publishing a book of his writings. Nothing will hold this young man back. He has God on his side every step of the way.

Gavin 2 years oldGavin Schultz God has a planFrom a lost little 2 year old boy when the sparkle left
his eyes and he lost his words to a young man that LOVES Jesus and sees all the good around him.

God has a plan for this one and he is living it!

Watch “My Journey with Autism: The Hopeful One”

My Journey with Autism Gavin Schultz May 2016


Gavin and his service dog, Rusty

Gavin and his service dog, Rusty


Gavin and I at his graduation 2016

Gavin and I at his graduation party July 2016

Gavin. His mom, Cindy. And service dog, Rusty are inspirational in Just Add Kids serving the special needs community and launching JAK – SKE or Just Add Kids – Special Kids Edition which includes a Facebook Group and Calendar of Events that serve those in the special needs community in SE Wisconsin.

I’m so honored and blessed to call them my friends.


Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids


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Uncommonly, JAK

Gavin Schultz on computerNormal or Different
Written by Just Add Kids 
Guest Blogger from Caledonia, Gavin Schultz 

Do you ever stop to think that the people that say they are “normal” really are not?  Thank God for making us all different.

I am grateful that he made me extra special. Special needs individuals have extraordinary gifts to share with the world.

Do you even realize how much more intelligent gifted people are? Take for instance, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Their minds were able to see and invent spectacular things. Read more…

We benefit daily from their obsessions with creating technology.

Think about the beautiful art work by Michelangelo and Vincent Van Gogh, it is breath taking. The masterpieces of music that was written and performed by Beethoven and Mozart were magnificent.

Temple Grandin has created better livestock handling systems. She has written many books and shares her knowledge at conferences.  She is amazing.

There are many more people that think or know they are on the autism spectrum.  Is that so bad?  I think not, because I have autism too and that is ok.  I would rather be known among these great individuals over being “normal” any day.

God is in control of all things.  Us “weirdos” as some people might call us, were not just put here on earth to aggravate the “normal” person. We have a purpose and we use our purpose to fulfill our missions in life.  Like I want to be a public speaker and write a book. Have I let the fact that I do not have a voice stop me? NO!

Never give up on life no matter what. People that think they are better than us are wrong. People that have hate in their lives for others just because they are not like them are evil. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring, talented people that believe in you. Then see what you can do to make a difference and change the world for the better.

Love, Gavin Schultz

Note: Gavin Schultz is a 17 year old young man from Caledonia who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Gavin is “labeled” as “non-verbal”. He has been able to communicate “talk” through writing via Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). Gavin aspires to be a public speaker and book author. Meeting Gavin; his mother Cindy Schultz; and service dog, Rusty; inspired the creation of Just Add Kids’ dedicated Facebook group and website page with the common name Just Add Kids – Special Kids Edition, or JAK-SKE, for short.

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Mmmm, Memorable


Shirt reads "This is faithfulness at its finest"

Shirt reads “This is faithfulness at its finest”

by Just Add Kids Founder
Paula Herrmann

I kinda don’t even feel like I have the right to write about this, having only been on the sidelines. But, it has been on my mind for the last 4 days. The impression it’s left…well, unforgettable.

                                                                                                                                  If you missed out on any of the snapshots, comments, chatter about it….my gosh, I’ll do my best, from the eyes and heart of this spectator who has been touched so deeply.  Read more….

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I’m talking about “A Night to Remember – Special Needs Prom” that was brought to life this past Sunday evening by the Great Lakes Church community and Racine community at large. My heart has grown especially soft and fond for the special needs community all spurred on by friendship that has started and grown over the last year. Oh, and if you’ve been a reader of JAK Chat, you may be familiar with the trio I am referring to. That being 16 year old Gavin who has autism: his service dog, Rusty; and his mom, Cindy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The event brought together businesses, organizations, and individuals that donated tuxedos, dresses, limos, primping, photos,

Gavin at tux fitting days prior to ANTR

Gavin at tux fitting days prior to ANTR

time…so much happened behind the scenes, yet for those of us who were spectators, it all came to life on the Red Carpet as each of the nearly 100 honored guests (special needs teens and young adults) were announced and escorted down the path with crowds cheering, cameras snapping, videos rolling, and tears streaming, into Racine’s Festival Hall (which also played host to the prior evening’s Post Prom party for area high schools) where dancing and activities ensued. Of course, most touching personally, was when the crowd was summoned to do a silent cheer for Gavin with hands up (pictured above). Too much noise for Gavin is over-stimulating.

Gavin with his escorts approach the Red Carpet

Gavin with his escorts approach the Red Carpet

I didn’t partake and observe anything that went on inside, but let’s let the pictures and Gavin’s recap below do the “talkin’ “…

Gavin and friend, Jenna

Gavin and friend, Jenna

And they danced....

And they danced….

...and danced!

…and danced!

                                                                                                                              Here’s what non-verbal Gavin had to say about the memorable event via Rapid Prompting Method, in conversation with his therapist Jackie and his mom.

Jackie and Gavin post prom dialog 5.2014Mom – What did you think of the Night to Remember prom?
Gavin – I had a great time.
Mom – How did you feel walking down the red carpet and everyone was doing the quiet waving for you?
Gavin – I loved it.
Mom – Did you like dancing with Jenna and Bella and all the other girls? You danced with way more then 10 girls.
Gavin – I felt cool. They were all so beautiful.
Mom- What was so appealing in the quiet room that you kept going back there after every dance?
Gavin – It was relaxing.
Jackie – Were you trying to find more girls to dance with?
Gavin – Yes, next year can you come Jackie?
Jackie – I have Sunday’s off and would love to help if I am invited.
Mom – What would you like to tell Great Lakes Church, Jeremy and Angela and all the other volunteers that made this prom so AWESOME!
Gavin – I had a great prom. Thank you for all you did for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Even more touched, is Cindy, Gavin’s mom. Reflecting on the event, Cindy was up late last night and wrote out her thoughts in these words…

When “you” realize life is not all about “I and me” it’s about “us and we”,

that’s when together we can truly make a difference in this world.

~ Cindy Schultz (Autism Solution Pieces – Co Founder).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cindy writes on her Facebook wall…”This is how I felt the night of the Night to Remember Special Needs Prom (Great Lakes Church, Jeremy Moore, Angela Tappa and the many other volunteers that made this night so amazing for our kids ~ THANK YOU!!!!)”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And from a woman, a mom, a friend from the sidelines (that would be ME!)….Kudos to Great Lakes Church, hundreds of volunteers, countless donors/donations. You’ve made our community a better place! Well done!


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You Had Me At…

Meeting Cindy, Gavin & Rusty
By Just Add Kids Founder, Paula HerrmannGavin Cindy and Rusty

It might sound a little creepy to say that I fell in love with a relationship. Well, I did.

I bumped into the trio of mom, Cindy; son, Gavin; and therapy dog, Rusty Schultz at a special needs resource fair a few months back. I, there representing the resources Just Add Kids has to offer families, including those with special needs* children. And “team Schultz”? They were there at the table next to me, sharing the opportunities available from the support group Autism Solution Pieces, selling merchandise, and seeing and making new friends. Wasn’t too hard!  The adorable, extremely well-behaved Goldendoodle is a magnet.  Read More…

I spent some time learning more about the group that I had been introduced to before via a phone call from co-founder and Vice-President Cathy Wathen months earlier. By meeting the other half Cindy, President of the founding team of A.S.P., as it is commonly referred to as, I know the why and the inspiration for all their efforts.  I can’t even begin to describe the passion Cathy has for providing support to others, sharing her experience, faith and knowledge.  It’s overflowing.

I also got to meet Gavin, who is 15 years old and diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3. At the event, you could find him keeping busy at their table working on some project, or moseying around socializing with Rusty, his faithful companion, at his side. To the best of my knowledge, while I am acutely aware of the ever rising numbers of those diagnosed with Autism, I don’t recollect much personal interaction that I’ve had with someone with Autism. I felt a little awkward at first, directly talking to Gavin. Rusty is definitely a buffer, if not a welcomed diversion. (not in a negative way). Interacting with the dog is a way to come together and communicate.

Today, I can speak of my adoration for this family trio: mom, son and dog. You know it’s there, yet, it’ll take more than I have time to write about at this juncture and I’d like to save that for a later date. But trust me, you won’t have to wait too long! There is so much to that story. Take note of the “talking to” I mentioned in the previous paragraph, we’ll address that in great detail at a later date. And I cannot wait!

Along with the brief introduction to the Schultz’s is an introduction to A.S.P. which is best summed up by its mission statement:
“At Autism Solution Pieces, our goal is to empower parents and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Autism Solution Pieces is a volunteer based organization whose purpose is to raise hope and awareness by providing support and peer group meetings, educational conferences, fundraising events, and community outings for Autistic individuals. We are committed to providing current information on ASD causes, prevention, and treatments so parents and individuals can use these resources to build knowledge best suited for their families.”

To learn more about A.S.P., you may visit their website at and “Like” their Facebook page.

Allow me to also invite you to a fundraiser benefiting the work of Autism Solution Pieces. Kids Carnival & Concert will take place on Friday, August 2nd.Here are some of the details. I’ll be there, and of course the dynamic Schultz trio will be there. We won’t be hard to find if you want to come and say “hi”.I’ll be in a Just Add Kids shirt. Cindy will be running around, happily wearing a smile. Gavin and Rusty….well, if you can’t pick those two out of a crowd.

Please come. We’d like a crowd!
Autism Solution Pieces flier kids carnival and concert 2013
* Just Add Kids posts kid-oriented, family-friendly activities and events to our website’s Happenings Calendar of Events. Presently, we highlight those that accommodate or are intended for special needs by framing the event in **asterisks**

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