When Jordan Soriano was just over a year old, he seemed to shut down.
"His mother had him on video, smiling and playing with trucks," said Colleen Buccieri, Jordan's godmother. "Then all the sudden, boom. He just went into his own world. For about six months, we thought he was deaf because he would not respond to anything. We even rang a big cowbell behind his head, and he did not even flinch."
It would be another four years before Jordan, now 10, would officially receive an autism diagnosis, and help through the public schools.
"As time went on and we learned more about autism, we kept saying, 'If only we'd known this a year ago, or known that two years ago,'" said Buccieri, also a longtime friend of Jordan's mother, Yvonne.
Buccieri and the Sorianos do not want other youngsters with autism to go years without the treatment they need. So they have founded Face Autism, a local group devoted to providing early autism screenings for children ages 18 months to four years, and to helping families through small grants for things like medical appointments and gluten-free food.
"If you can identify these children early and get them the resources they need, that's not only going to help the family, it's going to help the community," Buccieri said. "I see so many adults now going, 'What do I do with my child who has autism who didn't get any services earlier?'"