Early on Jaxon’s mum Tash noticed he was not achieving any of the milestones that other babies were.

Jaxon was born in Valencia, Spain.

Early on Jaxon’s mum Tash noticed he was not achieving any of the milestones that other babies were. He never reached for toys, babbled, cried or made eye contact. He also had a great deal of difficulty breathing, drinking from a bottle and learning to eat, so was frequently going to doctor appointments for check ups, however Tash was always told she was being dramatic as it was her first child.

At 18 months old, Jaxon returned to New Zealand. He ended up in hospital shortly after arriving back in New Zealand with pneumonia, and one of the doctors at Starship indicated that they thought Jaxon might have some other issues going on so he was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

He underwent a huge list of tests and they discovered he had a floppy windpipe/tracheamalacia. This explained the difficulties with breathing, however they were not satisfied that this was the only problem and referred him to another paediatrician on the North Shore.

The paediatrician assessed Jaxon and at two and a half he was diagnosed with severe developmental dyspraxia (verbal, gross and fine motor). This explained the lack of development in holding and playing with toys and his lack of speech as by this stage he was still non-verbal.

Adult support was required for everything – verbal, visual and sometimes even physical prompts were necessary to complete even the smallest of tasks. Everything had to be done in certain orders or a certain way to prevent meltdowns.

At three-years-old, Jaxon was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Jaxon would see seven therapists a week, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists.

At five-years-old, Jaxon was also diagnosed with ADHD.

Now, with the understanding, knowledge and right medication, Jaxon has been able to participate in a range of things, BMX racing (after being told he may never ride a bike), rugby, gymnastics, swimming, athletics and riding for the disabled.

His family are constantly pushing him to his limits and putting him out of his comfort zone to give him the skills he needs.

Jax attends a special school that supports his learning, and lives on the North Shore with his baby brother Phoenix, little sister Mercedes and superstar mum Tash.

Every year, one in four Kiwi kids will experience a significant mental health issue.

We are proud to support research into mental health. Last year, Professor Sally Merry was appointed as the Cure Kids Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Professor Merry is a qualified psychiatrist, leading child and adolescent mental health researcher and international leader in the field of e-therapy. Professor Merry has a specific interest in anxiety disorders, teenage depression and early intervention.

Read more about research