When Everything…Even Getting In Trouble…Is AMAZING!

From my UNscientific research*, about 10% of parents have been told that their child will not be able to do something. Maybe they were told their child can’t play a particular sport due to a past injury, or that their child cannot participate in an academic completion due to a learning disorder or walk without assistance due to a birth defect. Whatever it is, no matter the issue, parents just don’t want to hear it. It’s difficult to hear. Genuinely painful.

Everyone reacts differently as well. Some cry. Some give in. Some even turn to unhealthy behaviors because they don’t know how to cope. Some embrace it and try find the possible…so to speak.

Not me. I’m a fighter. I was told that my son may never be in a regular education classroom due to his Autism and I simply could not accept that answer. Now keep in mind, this isn’t the case for everyone. My son Joshua was very high functioning already. We were able to intervene very early, and he didn’t have an incurable disease. This is just my story.

Over the years, there have been many tearful moments. I’ll never forget the day I left him at pre-school for the first time. He ran to the window screaming, trying to get out and I had to drive away. This was the longest two hours of my life. Or when we had friends over to go in a little pool in the backyard and Joshua didn’t want to share and just screamed and screamed. No one knew what he needed or wanted because he didn’t communicate yet.
But at the same time, he made friends as a young child and now even as he’s in high school. This was something we were told may never happen.

He started doing announcements at school. He joined LEGO club and even LIKED kayak camp. He was able to stay at home, by himself, for the first time. Again, we were told that Joshua may never do things like this. My heart was constantly full.

Even when Joshua got it trouble (which rarely happens since he’s such a rule follower), he was punished, but I was just so darn happy he was able to do and try new things.

So now he is preparing to choose a college…yet another thing we were told he probably would never do.
Whether your child has a named disability or not, parents are constantly reminded that their kids can’t do something. I feel our job is simply to provide the atmosphere for them to be or do anything they want to be, even if the so-called experts tell you it’s impossible. I believe in my heart if a child really wants something, and we provide a loving environment where they can believe in themselves, nothing is impossible.

*Super random survey of parents I correspond with regularly

Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.

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