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Why The Autism Society?
Many of you know that I hold a special place in my heart for my 9 year-old grand nephew Isaac and his family. His mom, Bree was born when I was 12 and she has always been an amazing person and very special in my life. I have never been more proud than I have been to see the incredible mother she has turned out to be...and the incredible job Isaac's dad does as well. This angel was very carefully placed! Isaac is on the Autism spectrum. In our society, we tend to underestimate these kids and when they need precisely the opposite. They need educational tools and for society to BELIEVE that they can be anything they set their mind to. Because its true...they CAN!
I was inspired when I watched a video of Carly Fleischman communicating her feelings for the first time using a computer keyboard. She had been non-verbal prior to that, and was able not only to converse, but has been very expressive about what goes on her in her mind on a daily basis. She has now even written a book about it.
I have always felt that there was more going on in Isaac's head than he was able to verbalize and after seeing Carly, I really KNEW that was the case! While he never voluntarily engaged you in a conversation or in active play...he rarely turned you away if you respected his personal space! I found that if I played next to him we'd eventually be playing together! Now...he grabs you by the hand and insists that you play! What a beautiful thing!
I have watched Isaac grow so much over the last few years! He was almost completely non-verbal two years ago and today he is a sponge for new information & experiences! There's no better feeling than to see him do something or say something unimaginable 3 years ago! Two years ago his older brother Aidan told me that he was bored alot because his brother didn't like to do the things he liked to do. This Thanksgiving, I was overjoyed to watch them interacting and playing and SPEAKING to each other. Aidan has become an advocate and motivator to Isaac. No better brother can be found - but I may be biased. Education and encouragement from those in their life is paramount to success of those on the spectrum. The Autism Society doesn't just focus on a cure but also on providing the educational tools necessary to aid these kids in realizing their potential. Isaac has a fabulous teacher this year and you can see the difference it makes in him. All kids should be so fortunate EVERY year!
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