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Hawaii News | Lee Cataluna

Autism is a daily struggle for a boy and his mom

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Haku sits in a dentist’s chair, a triumph after months of preparation.

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Photos of Haku through the years.

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Haku Souza on his first birthday. He started showing signs of autism at 18 months and was diagnosed at 2-1/2. “I didn’t tell anybody,” his mother said. “I didn’t want anyone to treat him differently.”

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Haku writes the alphabet in the sand at age 3.

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Photos of Haku through the years.

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Photos of Haku through the years.

  • COURTESY OLA SOUZA

    Photos of Haku through the years.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Chuck Inman gives 11-year-old Haku Souza a hug after his first surfing lesson as Inman’s wife, Jasmine, left, and Haku’s mother, Ola, look on.

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Haku Souza, 11, gets his first surfing lesson from family friend Chuck Inman in Waikiki. Inman and his wife, Jasmine, have “walked very closely with us on this journey,” said Ola Souza, Haku’s mother.

It’s clear what 11-year old Haku loves: He loves the ocean, he loves his mom and he loves a challenge. As a child with autism, his challenges are sometimes very different from other kids his age, though at times his abilities are beyond those of his peers. Read more

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