“I bet she doesn’t even have a child with Autism.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself for charging for services, you should do this for free if you really want to help children and parents like you claim.”
“Yea sure pay me and I’ll help your child. You can’t help THIS.”
“I’m unsubscribing. Shame on you for not only expecting a parent to choose between trying to provide some normalcy for their child with a Christmas gift and getting help they need.”
“Do you use ABA? ABA is HARMFUL to children. Don’t you DARE purchase this program if it uses ABA. “
Four years ago I made a decision…
..that I would empower parents who have children on the spectrum to have a DIRECT hand in HELPING their child’s future.
By no means did this feel like “a job” for me. Quite the opposite, THIS felt like my calling.
Here we are 4 years later and this is exactly what I’m doing.
Let me be clear. I was making high six figures at my previous job as a multi million dollar sales executive, I’m certainly not doing this for the money.
In fact, I’ve invested more than I like to admit of my family’s savings to fund the start of this endeavor BUT, I do this work not for financial reward but for the feeling of giving back for the blessings that we’ve been bestowed when it comes to our daughter.
As parents of a child with Autism, who have experienced many ups and downs in our own journey and for the many times I cursed God for bringing this into our life, I now believe that this challenge was sent to us so I could help other families get the same outcome I was able to get for Julianna.
This mission that I believe God sent me on, started with a few realizations/experiences that came across my path while navigating services for my own daughter:
-I remember watching a mother trying to calm her son down in the hallway of Sunday Social. He was in his early teens and numerous people were running to help her as he was twice her size and was hitting and pushing her.
-On the first day of school, when my not even 3yr old daughter rode a small bus alone for 40 mins to the special needs preschool, and how for a month I followed that bus with tears in my eyes feeling she was being robbed of her toddler-hood because she had to go to this “special school” to get better versus being at home with loved ones or other normal (neurotypical) children her age in her neighborhood.
-Another memory was sitting in that same parking lot of that “special school” making sure she got off the bus ok, and watching in horror as an older child on a different bus was thrown to the ground by multiple staff members as she was trying to elope down the road, just wondering.. I sat in my car thinking: Why us?.. Why my baby? What are we doing here?
-Or at that same school just a month into her first year, how other parents were collecting a memorial fund for a 10 year old non verbal boy who drowned in a family pool.
-And there was the time when an autistic boy at her school was removed from his family home and was placed in a group home at only 9 years old because he tried to choke his sister to death
-Or when I sat holding a mother’s hand..as she had to send her sweet lovable 16year old son off to live in a group home because if she didn’t take that spot she didn’t know when he would get the chance again in the future because this facility was on “high demand.”
And as we both sat in tears when she told me that she knows he wants to come home.. I asked her how if he can’t speak ..and she says..because he never wants to get out of the car on Sunday Night.
I’m crying as I’m writing this and feeling chills all over my body and if you’re still reading this then I’m sure you do too.
THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO.
I don’t want this to be any of your children.
I don’t have to do this.
I don’t have to field the constant barrage of negative comments and insults my way. Or the constant fights I have with my husband on how he doesn’t want Julianna to be a poster child for Autism.
I do it in the name of my daughter and in honor of your children.
Because no parent should have to suffer like the ones I just mentioned.
And EVERY CHILD deserves the opportunities that I’ve been able to give Julianna.
If I only help one child AND I know I’ve already helped way more.. It’s all worth it.
This is my mission….. until my dying day.