Boyz II Men singer Shawn Stockman knows how lucky he is.
The 39 year-old R&B star and his wife Sherhonda are the proud parents of three children, a toddler daughter and 9 year-old twin sons.
Son Micah developed autism around his first birthday.
He and his wife talked frankly with CNN about the devastating diagnosis, the challenge of finding the best care and making sure the other children feel special too.
Stockman was especially honest about one thing: Money.
Special schools, behaviorists, speech therapists are all extremely expensive.
“We learned through our journey with Micah just how fortunate we were, having money,” he said. “There’s no way a normal couple or a single mom could afford this,” Stockman said.
It’s with this gratitude that the couple decided to launch Micah’s Voice, a non-profit to benefit a family with a child suffering from autism.
The goal of the organization would be to cover the day-to-day costs of caring for and educating the child.
Stockman and his wife know all too well what a daunting task it all is, even if money weren’t an issue.
He said that his son seemed normal up until his first birthday. Then he seemed to shut down.
“It was drastic because Micah was the first one to talk, the first one to walk,” he told CNN.
The diagnosis was heartbreaking and threw the family into unknown territory.
“I ddn’t know what to do,” he said. “One thing a man hates when it comes down to his family is not knowing what to do.”
The couple was lucky to find an elementary school where both twins, Ty and Micah, could attend.
They have a two-year old daughter who also needs love and attention.
Still, it’s a hard and heartbreaking path.
“All you want for your sons is to grow up and develop a life of their own,” he said, growing emotional. “And to know that it may not happen for my son Micah is extremely hurtful,”