From Barriers to Blessings: Families’ Journeys With Autism

Meet Landon, Hunter, and Tyler—and learn about their families’ paths to overcome the challenges and embrace the strengths of autism.
In “Local Families Reflect on Experiences With Autistic Children,” Ashlee Mincer shares that the hardest part on the road to her son’s autism diagnosis was that Landon “would have two-hour meltdowns and there was nothing I could do to help him.” Landon, who’s now five, throws fits when worn-out and struggles to convey emotions, but his sister and a few buddies reassure and encourage him.
Ashlee wonders what the coming years will bring. Ultimately, she is hopeful. She says that her family’s autism journey “has shown us our true purpose in life, and although it is a struggle at times, it is truly a blessing.”
At age 16, Hunter still grapples with speaking, even with his parents. He enjoys TV programs geared toward young children and all things related to outer space. He also has impressive talents, including his memory. 
Not only can Hunter pilot his own way through a computer, but his knack for remembering also comes in handy during road trips. His dad says, “He’s like a human GPS. He can tell you when and where to turn.”
Hunter’s parents are pondering the future and wonder if he could one day be independent. They have hopes that he will find a group home and job and would love to see where Hunter’s gifts may someday lead him.
Tami Aldrich has supported her son, Tyler, through a remarkable transformation in his 19 years. A physician once told Tami, when her son was only kindergarten age, that the boy may end up in an institution. Tami educated herself about autism, and Tyler proved that doctor wrong—and then some.
He started general education classes in sixth grade and graduated high school with a perfect GPA. Having the pick of nine college acceptances, he enrolled in Terra State Community College. Tyler now inspires people nationwide with his speeches.
“Back when he was diagnosed, I would never have thought he would go to college or do any of this,” Tami says. “No one really knows their destiny, but I was destined to be his mom.” And Tyler was destined to be a glowing example of what a supportive family and the courage to use your talents can bring. 
Gain more insights into the families’ challenges and triumphs. Also, enjoy this enlightening article by Ellen Notbohm that goes beyond the difficulties to the potential children with autism have, and celebrate the artistic talents of people with autism around the globe.
CPI Global Professional Instructor Gary Weber also touches on the theme of recognizing and nurturing abilities and shifting “from autism awareness to autism acceptance.” This post offers a constructive perspective that nurtures understanding and encourages growth. 
What are some of your trials and triumphs with autism?

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