Friday, January 25, 2013

Matthew W. Shaw

Autism Light #254 is Matthew W. Shaw.

Today we honor a young man who had autism and brought joy to others in both his work career and personal life. Matthew Shaw was born on July 2, 1974, in Portland, Maine. Matthew Shaw died on September 16, 2012, from the effects of a pulmonary embolism he suffered on August 24, 2012. Matthew Shaw is an Autism Light posthumously for the joy he brought others and the way his life accomplishments served as an inspiration to others with autism. Matthew Shaw will be added to the Autism Light Memorial Roll today. The tribute below to Matthew Shaw from his obituary summarizes how his life was an inspiration.

"He was admired for his strong work ethic. He overcame his autism with determination and a positive attitude. He never complained. He accomplished more than anyone thought possible." 

Vincent Shaw said about his brother's life:  "Matthew proved everyone wrong. My mother believed in him. My father believed in him, and Matthew believed in himself. He was so successful in everything he did. He was truly amazing (Source)."

Education: Matthew Shaw was educated at the Spurwink School and also graduated with honors from the Portland Regional Vocational Technical Center.

Work: Matthew Shaw had worked full-time for the Maine Medical Partners -- Endocrinology & Diabetes Center in Scarborough, Maine, where he scanned and labeled medical records in their data system. Audra Buschagen, practice administrator at Maine Medical Partners, said Matthew Shaw "was 150 percent qualified and did the job perfectly (Source)."  Prior to that Matthew worked in a similar role for 13 years at Maine Cardiology Associates. When he was in school he worked part-time for the City of South Portland, Maine in their Finance Department.

Hobbies:  Matthew Shaw had a keen interest in music and could provide the title of any song and it's artist from the 1970s to the 1990s period (Source). According to the Portland Press Herald, Matthew's "hobbies included trips to Beech Ridge Speedway, music, playing the guitar and his computer. Matt was a sports enthusiast and particularly liked the Nascar racing, Boston Celtics, and the NBA basketball. Matt mostly enjoyed spending time with his family (Source)."  He also was known to wear a Christmas hat for the entire Christmas season, because of his affinity for this holiday.

Funeral: Matthew Shaw's Funeral Services were held on September 20, 2012 at the Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland, Maine. The family asked that memorial contributions be sent in Matthew's name to the
Maine Autism Alliance, 65 Patterson St., Augusta, Maine 04330.

Obituary: An obituary for Matthew Shaw is available at the Portland Press Herald. This was selected by the Portland Press Herald on September 18, 2012 as a Featured Obituary which was titled, 'Amazing' Matthew Shaw, 38, overcame autism, loved music (a photo of Matthew is included with the feature).

Special thanks to Matthew Shaw for being an Autism Light. His life accomplishments remind all those with autism and their families that the journey of life can be great for all regardless of one's disabilities.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.


  1. I am Matthew's mother and wish to thank the person who recommended Matthew for this recognition. He was an outstanding person and is missed by all of us. He never realized how many lives he touched.

    1. I am sorry for your loss. His life remains an inspiration to others.