SALT LAKE CITY — Ever since his wife Renae gave birth to twins in the summer of 2016, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles has been very open in a variety of public settings about how important his family is to him, especially those twins, Jacob and Milla.
On Wednesday, the Ingleses continued that pattern of openness. In a post on the Australian website Exclusive Insight, which was designed as a media platform for athletes and entertainers, they announced that their son Jacob has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
The Ingleses wrote that Jacob was diagnosed on Jan. 8 after a weeks-long assessment. Their primary purpose in sharing the news, they wrote, was to try to help other parents understand that early intervention is key should children exhibit signs of possibly being on the autism spectrum.
Jacob, they wrote, was exhibiting a number of signs that indicate the possibility of being on the autism spectrum, such as having a lack of communication, social isolation, sleep disturbances, light sensitivity and extremely picky food preferences.
“We don’t want Jacob any other way,” they wrote. “He is our perfect Jacob. And nothing will ever change that. The road will look a little different for him (and us) and will have its challenges, although early intervention is key to helpful support (sic) his development and future.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder was one of the first people the Ingleses told of the diagnosis.
“Quin has been incredible,” they wrote. “Honestly — we can’t thank him enough for how he has sought to support us in recent weeks. He was strong in his views, that life is so much more important than throwing around a basketball. This support and understanding meant alot (sic), and if anything it just made us want to work harder for coach.”8 comments on this story
The Ingleses, who are both world-class athletes (Renae Ingles has had an accomplished netball career in Australia), wrote that it’s been somewhat against their natures to not press too hard in working to get their son the help he needs.
"It’s hard to accept, but the best thing that we can do for Jacob, his future and our family right now is to focus on the right now,” they wrote. “You can’t let the fear of the unknown take over or you just don’t get anything done.”
They noted that they’ll use the All-Star break as a chance to get away for a while, but that, “we’re so excited for 2019 and beyond for our family.”