About Valter Berg
Valter is the autistic child of Valter and Janine Berg, friends of courierfontwear web designer Tom Myers and his wife Sue. Valter was diagnosed with autism at the age of 5, and has been fortunate enough to live with his family his entire life. Valter graduated from his special needs high school and is currently working part time jobs to help do his part. Though Valter will always require special care and assistance, he strives to be the best he can be!
The Berg’s Story
Like many people, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is something I really only became aware of after seeing the movie Rain Man(for which Dustin Hoffman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Raymond Babbit). Little did I know this would be just the beginning of my education…
It was that very same yearthat some close friends, Janine and Valter Berg,gave birth to their second child. Valter, who was originally from Norway, was the Captain of a Norwegian Cruise Ship; Janine was a stay at home mom of two adorable little ones;and big sister, Janelle, loved her new role helping her mother with little Valter. Life couldn’t have been happier for the Bergs!
Then, around the age of three, Valter, Jr. began exhibiting what appeared to be social separation and delayed development,though his doctors initially chalked up to kids developing at different rates. But over the next couple years, it became clear that the developmental issues were no longer in the “normal” range and his doctors informed his parents that this was likely ASD, a lifetime disorder that they needed to be prepared for.
But how do you prepare for this? Valter, Sr., was at sea nearly 10 months of the year and Janine was pretty much on her own to deal with what was life-altering news, so for a while there she moved back in with her parents who helped as best they could. Then, after a couple years, my wife and I invited the three of them to live with us in San Diego so that we might help lighten the load. And this is when our education really began.
Surely there were many struggles my wife and I experienced firsthand, but in spite of all the challenges, we also got to experience some pretty wonderful moments as well.Valter was (and still is) an incredible artist. You should see the magic he can work with a lump of clay! He’s nothing short of amazing! This child with limited social skills, imperfect vocabulary, and a seemingly very short attention span has the photographic memory and advanced motor skills of a highly skilled artist!
The truth is, while not every autistic child is as functionally artistic as Valter, each and every autistic childabsolutely has their own special gift and that gift, regardless of what it is, must be nurtured andacknowledgedin order for them to grow into happy and healthy adults.
Please take a look at Valter’s video and see for yourself what an amazing young man he has grown into.