State Rep works to have equal opportunities for her autistic son.

Jonesboro (KATV) - In addition to being a State Representative for Arkansas, Mary Broadway is an advocate for those who are mentally and developmentally challenged, like her 21 year old Son Jack Broadaway.

Jack is more than capable to help himself. KATV traveled to Jonesboro to spend some time with him. He showed us how he makes eggs, he does his own laundry, and he even knew that Idina Menzel sang in Disney's 'Frozen' and in the Broadway play 'Wicked'. {}But what separates Jack from most his age is his autism. Jack graduated high school, but his mother Mary tells KATV that he functions at a ninth grade level. Mary says communicating is difficult. He was telling us how he enjoyed working with animals and took his time when he said, "I like playing with the cats."

Jack's mother illustrated to KATV how big of an issue mental and developmental health is. She told us that 13% of Arkansans have someone in their family that are mentally or developmentally challenged, that's three to four percent higher than the national average. During her interview she brought up that one in every 68 boys has autism. "I hope the same thing that everybody hopes for their child." Said Mary, "That Jack is happy, that Jack has a high quality of life like everybody else."

Mary wants to create a network for those like her son to attend a 2-year college in Arkansas and find a job in the work force. Next Thursday, she's inviting state legislators, like herself, to a dinner at Pulaski Tech that's served and waited on by five Pulaski Tech students with developmental disabilities. "They're dedicated and loyal and devoted." Mary Said, "And they do the job, if they're given a chance."

The dinner will be held at the South Campus at Pulaski Tech on Thursday the 24th. {}Jack is looking forward to serving Arkansas's State Legislators.{}