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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: Never, Ever Give Up

If you would have told me six years ago--or even two years ago--that I would be posting the following, I would have been literally rolling on the floor laughing. The following was so unattainable and so far out of reach that I would have considered you a prime candidate for the looney bin.

But, here I am. I am stunned, amazed, overwhelmed, and most of all BLESSED! While I know that I have three absolutely amazing kids and each one of them is a precious gift from God to us; I also know we've faced a few obstacles in their lives. Sometimes, it seems like the most insurmountable obstacles are those associated with Autism.

Yet, here we are. Friday found Nathan giving a speech to two classrooms in his school. He chose to run for Student Council--knowing he had to answer essay questions and give a speech. This from the kid who refused to speak until he was 2, mumbled his way through school and has only given one speech in his life--and that was an assignment last year that we worked on for over a month. So in one week's time, he wrote and delivered a speech. Honestly, I never saw this day coming until it arrived. 

The election was Friday and the announcement was made yesterday afternoon. I was afraid he'd be nervous if I came to hear his speech, so his wonderful teachers arranged to video tape his speech so I could see it.

Nathan dictated his speech to us to type. He came up with this all on his own. It gave us insight into how he thinks and what he thinks. 

Here's the text of the speech:
We the people of the United States… (breath)  why is my copy of the Preamble in here?
La da da, bada bing bada boom,
Ah!  Here we go.

Hi my name is Nathan Roberts and I am running for student council. 
I am very creative so I can think of many new ideas to help make the school a better place.  I see everyone as a good person and see the differences in everyone, mainly because I have two disorders.

I have super sensitive hearing which means I hear better than most people but it also means things get really loud really quickly.  And due to my other disorder, sometimes I feel very stressed out in very loud places.  Don’t worry, I try not to do it very often.

My other disorder is autism which makes people do unusual things.  For instance thinking about doing something unusual or unwanted.  Sometimes I get more emotional than normal.  Sometimes when I see something I get distracted and like to do something with the cool thing I see.  Don’t worry, I try to keep it under control.

Even though I have these two disorders, I can do many good things with them.  For instance, for Halloween, I could find pictures and cut them out to make a holiday scene.  Sometimes I can also think of things that other people don’t think of.  Like if we do a lesson on safety, I could suggest to follow each rule the first time it’s given.

If I have a task to try to do something I will do my best to fit in many kids’ opinions for as many things as possible.  Everyone has their opinions and if there are ideas unlike each other I could use my differences and my creative mind to find a way to connect those ideas.

Our school already rocks, but vote for me and it will rule.

Truly, I never cared if he made it or not. The competition was pretty fierce and every kid that ran would have been an excellent choice. I thought I couldn't be any more proud....then he got in the car today after school and announces, "Guess what? They told us about Student Council--and I'm on it." 

This was such a victory!!! And not just for Nathan. There are so many teachers, friends, family members, therapists and more who have encouraged, coached, worked with, prayed for and loved Nathan for who he is and have challenged him to grow into who he is becoming. I see this as a win for everyone who has touched Nathan's life--and for everyone whose life has been touched by Nathan.

So he goes off to school today in the shirt I normally lay out for him when I need a little boost. A dear, sweet friend sent him a UConn shirt that says "Born to Win!" When I put it out tonight, he got a huge smile on his face and told me, "Nice one, Mom." 

Congratulations, Nathan! 
We know you will do great things!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Congratulations to Nathan. You must be very proud.

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