Autistic man's remarkable journey
WHEN Jenny Lutz gave birth to her son Greg, he was born dead.
Greg is now 35 and he is one of Mrs Lutz greatest accomplishments.
"When he was born he didn't breath for 20 minutes," Mrs Lutz said.
"He had to be resuscitated."
While it isn't noticeable these days, this left Greg with some brain damage.
In 1994 when Greg was 11, he was diagnosed with autism.
"Back then, we didn't really know what it was," Mrs Lutz said.
"It was a big shock."
Medical advancements have certainly improved since the mid-nineties, but back then Mrs Lutz was left bewildered by the doctor's advice.
"They said lots of devastating things," she said.
"Like he would be in an institution."
Now 35, Greg is able to manage his autism and proudly contributes to society.
But as his mum explains, Greg has had to work hard to get to this point.
"He learnt to read and write through his love of aircraft," she said.
"At 11, he couldn't even read what was on a Vegemite jar.
"Now he works at Swickers."
Mrs Lutz said people with autism were very literal thinkers.
"They are very honest," she said.
"They'll tell you exactly how things are.
"They have no filter."
Mrs Lutz and her husband Kurt started the South Burnett Autism Support Group in 1995.
"We just figured there must be other people out there with autism as well," she said.
The group meet on the second Friday of every month at SB Care on Kingaroy St, Kingaroy.
"There are still four or five families who are still heavily involved from back at the start," Mrs Lutz said.
April is world autism month and an autism awareness barbecue lunch will be held on Wednesday, April 17 at the Kingaroy Town Hall forecourt.
From 11.30am to 2pm you can purchase a burger or sausage in a blanket for your Wednesday lunch and support a good cause.
For more information contact Jenny Lutz on 4164 1107.