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Monday, May 20, 2013

They called him worthless.

They said he didn't belong in school. He would never be like other kids.

He would never pick up social cues. He would never be able to make friends.

He hid under desks. He hit. He bit other kids. He had tantrums.

Autistic kids don't get better. Maybe we can manage the symptoms, but he'll never be one of the "normal" kids.

He can't go on field trips. He won't be able to make his own decisions.

"He'll never learn to ride a bike. He doesn't have that kind of coordination."

They tried to kick him out at Kindergarten, 1st grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade and 8th grade. His counselors tried so hard to manage expectations.

"Don't expect him to take hard classes. Focus on life skills. He won't do well in Calculus (B+); he won't be able to do Physics (A); Don't let him sign up for Organic Chemistry (B+)."

"He won't get into college." -- He starts his Biochemistry program in August.

"When he finishes high school, celebrate his Certificate of Attendance - he won't graduate." -- They're all invited to his graduation this Thurdsay.

He'll never go to prom.

They gave me lots of nevers. Never expect too much. Never push too hard. Never fight.

I'll give them two more.
I will NEVER give up.
And they will NEVER be right.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What amazing parenting!. What a fine son! You have turned those "Nevers" into "with dedication, hard work, and perseverance". Bless you.
    1120 days ago
    Heart-warming. I think that many people take the easy way out, instead of actively working to help kids be the best they can be. It is an issue between a friend and I; I believe that expectations, consequences, assisting and encouraging could result in success. I'm so tired of hearing what sound to me like excuses.
    And the time to start is NOW: even if the skills weren't learned at the regular sign-posts, doesn't mean they can never be achieved.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1172 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am sure it will be a huge encouragement for many parents. Your blog brought tears to my eyes... Good for you! Good for your son!
    1183 days ago
    1186 days ago
    Never say never and never accept never. What a wonderful story.
    1187 days ago
    So glad i read this, the world needs more parents like you!!
    1187 days ago
    1187 days ago
    As a mom, I understand your devotion and love to your son. Reading your blog brought tears to my eyes. Very inspiration.
    1187 days ago
    It's amazing what can be accomplished when someone has confidence in you. You gave that to your son--and look at what he achieved. You are an awesome mom with an even more awesome son. WAY TO GO!!!
    1190 days ago
  • v IMAGINE46
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    1191 days ago
  • v JIBBIE49
    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.
    1191 days ago
  • v LESLIE56
    I have a sixteen year old grand son, who has autism. He is high functioning. He is the funniest guy. He just knows everything about movies and can tell you pretty much what you want to know about different movies, or different actors. My son and daughter-in-law are excellent parents, and Jake is given every opportunity to expand his horizons. I'm with his Mom, You never give up, on these kids...they will surprise you in the end. emoticon emoticon
    1191 days ago
  • v ZOE13O
    As I sit here with tears in my eyes all I can say is WOOHOO to you as an amazing mom who never gave in to everyone's "nevers" and to your son for pushing through and striving to such amazing goals!

    emoticon emoticon and best wishes!!
    1191 days ago
    You unconditional love and support for your son are beautiful reminders of what it means to be a good parent. Your son is an inspiration. Wishing you and him abundant joy. Thank you for sharing the message that we are our children's best advocates and must stand up for them in the face of institutional and societal roadblocks to their leading fulfilled lives. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1191 days ago
  • v FLAME42
    Congrats to you and your son. We have a granddaughter with autism, she has made so much progress with encouragement too. She is a freshman in high school and this year she was one point away from going to state tournament in forensics. She was marked down for limited eye contact, wish the judge had understood what it takes for an austistic child to stand in front of people and perform. She has also had a part in 2 of the high school plays. These children need all the encouragement and support possible.
    A friend hooked me up with your blog after she read it, knew I would be thrilled to read it.
    1192 days ago
    I just sent a copy of your blog post to my daughter. She has a 6yr. old little girl that she is adopting that has autism and 18Q- Syndrom. We were told that she was deaf. She isn't. That she would never talk. She talks. And a huge list of other "NEVERS" that we refused to listen to. You and your son are an excellent example of what our hopes and dreams for Lizzy are. Thank you so much for showing us what her future can be if we keep believing in her and never accept never as an answer. emoticon emoticon
    1192 days ago
    that´s great and i know exactly where you are coming from.i had to fight hard to get my oldest into main stream school but unfortunately in the second year lost the fight to keep him there carried on fighting and now next year for his high school have managed to get him back in having the opposite battle for my 4 year old trying to get him in a special kindergarten in the hopes that the more intensive theraphy´s there will help him get in a main stream school when it is time to go to school.problem is there are too little places for too many children especially since they have closed the hearing and speach school which is what he really needs(through lach of funding)he doesn´t quite fall into the other special school direct catorgury´s so it is hard to get a place we are in the middle of fighting to get an assessment appointments.his presant kindergarten say´s if he stays there he will never get into normal school as they haven´t got the facilties he needs and his speach theraphy that he has been under for two years says even if she was to give him extra sessions a week(he has two a week at the moment)it wouldn´t be enough as he needs it on a more permanent basis so the fight is on again but in an oposite direction.i want my son to have the more intense theraphys now well he is at this formative age so that he will be able to go tio a normal school when he is 7 which is when they start school here.i don´t believe them when they say he won´t ever speak probably,he wont be able togo to a normal school etc,etc.your blog has just given me extra motivation to keep on fighting like i have theese last 4 years with my 10 year old and now with my 4 year old.thanks for posting this at a time i really need son hasn´t got a place this september for the special school but he has got on the waiting list.i have also signed him up for a preschool course that involves alot of extra work on my side but i am willing to put in the time and effort and i think it will help him in the long run and with his concentration.i hope one day to write a similar blog to you of my son´s graduation.know you are a fantastic mom and should not only be proud of your son but of yourself and your own efforts. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1192 days ago
    Thanks for sharing such a great story!
    1192 days ago
  • v TDEMAIO2
    Your an amazing Mom : ) the power of love and belief has no boundaries!!!!! one of the best blogs EVER!
    1192 days ago
  • v JUNEAU2010
    Tears of joy! My older brother was autistic and I remember hearing all those things. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to have a graduation and a future. He died at age 14 by saving another boy's life.

    I am so thrilled at your son's success!
    1192 days ago
  • v KIPPER15
    I have 3 nephews with various forms of autism. Their mom won't believe in "never" either. Great job mom! emoticon
    1192 days ago
    Wow what a powerful and amazing blog. And what a remarkable young man. I am so glad you fought for him -- and that he fought for himself too!
    1192 days ago
    I have never had an autistic child, but, I have never given up on myself, despite having several bad prognosis from the so called 'experts', so I would never give up on anyone else either, let alone a child.It's amazing what a difference love and patience can make.
    1192 days ago
  • v SANDYLH1
    1192 days ago
  • v CAMAEL100
    No one has the right to set limits on anyone's capabilities!
    1192 days ago
    School can be so demeaning for some students. I am so proud of you for not listening.... or at least not being controlled by the mind games. You and your son are to be honored.
    1192 days ago
    Wow! What a guy! Fantastic to see, and you have done a great job in supporting him through his life. emoticon emoticon
    1192 days ago
  • v BOPPY_
    Congratulations to you and your son.

    Keep pushing!

    1192 days ago
    NEVER tell a loving parent NEVER!
    1192 days ago
    Congratulations on never accepting low expectations and fighting judgement. You are a great mom!!!
    1192 days ago
    Amazing story!
    1192 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1193 days ago
    An absolutely great blog. Tunnel vision is easy, to look outside the norm takes courage and immense strength.
    1193 days ago
  • v TRICIAE2
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1193 days ago
  • v RENATA144
    We have learned to Never Listen to nay sayers. You are a Great Mom. God bless you & your son & Family as those who did hel you both.
    1193 days ago
    1193 days ago
    I'm getting so many positive e-mails from my students. Thank you for letting me share this with them.
    1193 days ago
    As a social worker who had a caseload of mostly autistic kids this made me feel very good. Thanks! Congrats!
    1193 days ago
  • v FATTOFIT56
    1193 days ago
    emoticon Awesome ,to the whole family.and a big Congratulations
    1193 days ago
  • v ELBEE80
    Fight like a tiger for your kids. As a teacher, I have found that the main indicator of a child's success (any child) is how involved their parents are and how willing they are to fight for their child's rights. And I'm not talking only in public. I am sure you have had your private battles to be patient, to keep believing, to just keep going. Cheers to you. Cheers to your gorgeous young man--the world needs people like him and you if we are ever going to survive. When you look at the biographies of all the "greats" most of them had something special, some sort of challenge they needed to overcome, and they did!
    1193 days ago
  • v KAB7801
    Good for you!
    1193 days ago
    You deserve a lot of hugs & praise for recoginizing that your child is WORTH it!!
    We all are!
    I'm thrilled for him, that he has succeeded despite the challenges life threw at him.

    1193 days ago
    Autism is just Gods way of choosing the special ones.
    1193 days ago
  • v FRUITY76
    emoticon He's worked hard and done so well. There are more great things to come. emoticon
    1193 days ago
    People often underestimate the ability of children. They call some "special needs", "normal" and some ADD. However, children can do anything, when people actually believe in them. Never give up and never surrender. emoticon
    1193 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1193 days ago
    OMG that is so beautiful ... I am beyond words emoticon
    1193 days ago
    Well done! Congratulations to both of you for all your hard work & perseverance.
    1193 days ago
    What a wonderful blog! Thank you!
    1194 days ago
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