During this Thanksgiving season, members of our Clinical team reflected on their gratitude for the individuals and families they serve.
The Clinical team is thankful to provide support to all members of the autism community. As one member of the team wrote to parents: “I’m grateful for your trust in me because I know what fearless advocates you are for your child and how hard you work to make sure they are happy, healthy, and supported. Thank you for allowing me to know them, enjoy their many gifts and talents, and to grow to love and care about them. Thank you for sharing your hard moments and your successes. Thank you for teaching me countless lessons about what it means to be a true champion for the people you love.”
To the individuals, families, and communities we work with, thank you.
Thank you for demonstrating unconditional love
“Our clients have shown me what it means to love without expectations, without limits, and to love humbly. They’ve shown me how to love and laugh at the simple things in life and remember that those simple things can mean the world to someone else. Most importantly, they’ve reminded me that loving without limits means taking on the perspective of others and meeting them where they’re at. You can love someone so much deeper when you love them exactly where they are in that moment without trying to change them or their experience.
Our families have taught me what it means to love FIERCLY. These parents love hard, love protectively, and love unconditionally. I challenge you to find a deeper love than that of a parent of a differently abled child. Sometimes love is the only thing that is reminding them they can get through a hard day. These families have taught me how to continue to show love even when it’s difficult and messy and just plain tough to do. I’m not sure I would ever know love on this level without the perspective of the autism community, and I am so grateful that I get to be surrounded by examples of unfiltered, unconditional, pure love on a daily basis.”
Thank you for showing us persistence and resilience
“I’m in awe of the persistence of every family and client that I work with. The family who moves away from their friends and family to being able to access services for their child. The family who calls all the providers and gets on all the waitlists to access services. The family who has to advocate in every IEP meeting for the needs of their child. The client that works hard every day to be able to communicate their wants and needs. The client who after three attempts is finally toilet trained. The client that practices interviewing every day and finally got a part-time job. To each one of my families, I’m so grateful that I get to see evidence of this persistence every time I walk into the doors of their home.”
“I’ve worked with some of the most resilient people I’ve ever met, and I’ve learned so much about giving yourself grace, the importance of self-care, and asking for help at your most vulnerable moments, all the while being the fiercest advocate for your child.”
“During the last year and a half, we have all had to pivot from our comfort zones, develop new ways to interact with others, and find new ways to support each other. I have been so grateful and honored to work with the individuals and families that we serve during this time. Families have shown such fortitude and grace in the face of an incredibly challenging time. The individual clients (and families) that we serve have demonstrated extraordinary flexibility when faced with disrupted routines, quarantines, technology challenges, and limitations to their systems of supports. Through this all, I have seen individuals face struggles, but also continue to develop new skills, build stronger bonds with their caregivers/parents, and finding joy in new experiences. I continually learn from the amazing clients and families that I support and am so grateful to be part of their journeys.”
Thank you for improving our capacity to listen
“Thank you for teaching me to truly listen to the messages that come in all forms.”
“Every sign, syllable, sound, and selection on a device is important and deserves to be heard!”
“They have taught me the power of communication in all its forms and the importance and impact of strong human connection.”
“I’m grateful for all of the ways that you’ve shown me that love for your family, for your friends, for yourselves can truly be unconditional and expressed in a million different ways, none of which have to include the words ‘I love you.’”
Thank you for the joy, fun, and the focus on what really matters!
“Digging for worms, playing laser tag, and building forts is still really fun as an adult.”
“A smile, a laugh, or another indicator of happiness can be the most important data.”
“I am grateful to my clients for the opportunity to return to my child-like self, to splash in puddles on rainy days, to dance to the same song on repeat, and to belly laugh while learning to play jokes with a Whoopee Cushion!”
“There are absolutely no limits to what I will do for a heart-melting laugh (in case you ever hear me making obscenely loud animal sounds in public).”
“I’ve learned to stop and notice and appreciate the gains, regardless how seemingly small they may seem to others. And also, to stop and notice the joy in someone’s eyes when they are doing something they love.”
“I am learning not to sweat the small stuff – and to also celebrate every win, no matter how small.”
“Thank you for showing me a new way to see and experience the world.”
Tags: ASNC, autism, autism acceptance, autism advocacy, autism communication, Autism Society of North Carolina