Answering the question: Who is the first person you think of as an angel or hero in your life not counting Mom or Dad, who made a difference and whom you admire, what did they do, and what do you admire about them, in the different 4 year periods of your life?
Ages 0-4 want to say David
I will always remember that David is wonderful about praying for me. When autism was early coming to all of our family, David felt we could heal me with prayer. Each day he would always pray for me. Easily when I was not feeling well, David would come to my crib to cheer me up. When seeming to always cheer me up, he also assured me that I was not alone and he was with me. He was wonderfully comforting with all quite painful and confusing autism. Feeling someone was always there in my world was incredibly equalizing and passion acquiring. I experienced unusually underrated APPRECIATIVENESS. HE ALWAYS TRIED TO CHEER ME UP AND HELP ME FEEL WHOLE AND ABLE AND HOPEFUL. AMAZING SELFLESSNESS.
Ages 4-8 really that’s all the caregivers who worked with and believed in me
I admire their patience. They had to work with me and those who believed in me are really special as confidence and person-builders. When autism masks who you are as a person, waiting and watching for those who will believe in you and take you to new levels of learning is sometimes lonely and painful. I admire the dedication of those who sometimes couldn’t see the progress and reasoned to teach anyway. All along, I was learning.
Ages 8-12 wanted to say all the wonderful kids who endure disabilities without complaining and who have no voice often but are competent
I admire their heart for the moments they are in, their patience with the people who unfairly judge them, and their sacrifice for all apparently well people who need the sick and disabled to realize that their time will come and some human qualities can’t be developed except through suffering together. All wonderful persons still waiting for a voice are my special heroes.
Ages 12-16 Jane at Carmel Middle School
I admire that Jane saw me for who I am and incredibly taught me when everyone else said I was stupid in their ‘special’ way. I admire the time and attention Jane gave to meaningful ways to expand my participation such as sports and music. Through Jane I came to realize that I could smartly acquire information and apply it to understand the larger world around me. Civics, sports, and politics assumed more importance in my thinking. Science assumed new depth and breadth. Without Jane, I would not have as much confidence.
Age 16 to present Poorman
Poorman is for others. She always sacrifices herself for me and others. Want to say that when awesomeness is present, so is she in spirit or in person. Really I admire her selfless heart for wanting patients like me waiting for the gift of language. She is the doctor of language who diagnoses if she can help and then treats the soul or body equally as healing from a dark, cold place begins. She waits to let only enough light in that the patient’s eyes can handle. She always gives of her extraordinary ability without saying she is too tired or in pain. We who are healed by her touch are eternally grateful.