Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman: Helping with Micah’s Voice
Sometimes, hardships in life have a purpose. As for the multi-award-winning Boyz II Men member, Shawn Stockman and his wife, Sharhonda would learn, their hardship has become their biggest blessing.
After the two welcomed twin boys into the world in 2003, they shortly learned that one of their sons, named Micah would be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Anytime a parent hears that something is wrong with their child, it can be difficult. It causes the parent pain, confusion, sadness and guilt. For Shawn Stockman, it caused all the above.
“It affects you in a lot of ways, you do not know why this happened and you tend to get a little introspective, wondering, ‘what did I do to cause this to my child,’ all of those things you tend to do a lot,” said Shawn. He continued, “With that, you become stronger. You become more empathetic towards other people and their misfortunes; whether it is autism or anything else. Anything dealing with children, you just feel more compassionate.”
When the couple learned about their son's condition, they hit the ground running to support Micah and many other families affected by autism. From this, they were inspired to create, Micah's Voice.
Micah's Voice is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, established to help provide the community with hope, wisdom and financial resources for autistic families. All proceeds go to assist families with an autistic child.
Shawn spoke on how their son, Micah having autism helped them grow as parents.
“As hard as it has been, I think I speak for both of us when I say, it has made us look at the world a little different. We are a little more concerned and there is a little more desire to change it for the better,” he said.
Not only are they changing the lives of others through, Micah’s Voice, but their personal lives as well.
“As a mother, Micah has shown me that I have so much more to do in life. Just when I thought I had it together, him being diagnosed with autism has helped me become better. I don’t think I would be who I am now and still becoming if he had not been diagnosed. Though there are a lot of hardships to that and a lot of pain, I think there is still a lot of growth there. I don’t think I will be where I am mentally and spiritually if he had not been diagnosed,” said Sharhonda.
Sharhonda wants autistic families to know, feeling ashamed is natural and to be aware.
“Do not feel bad or ashamed. It is a natural feeling that we all have experienced at one point, and we still do not have an answer yet. More than anything, it is definitely growing in our black and brown communities. We really need to pay attention to what it is that is affecting our young men growing up.”
To get involved with Micah’s Voice, by helping or donating log on to, www.micahsvoice.com. There, you will find information and advice on how to seek help and assistance if you see certain signs of autism. If you or someone you know has an autistic family member, Micah’s Voice features the Stockman’s story, along with other families’ stories. Do not feel afraid or ashamed, you are not alone.