As I was cleaning out files on my computer, I stumbled upon this piece I wrote a couple years ago. My friend, Robin, was compiling stories for an ebook, documenting the journeys of families with Autism.
I wrote this piece on March 26h, 2014, nearly two years ago. At that time, I was job sharing a First Grade teaching position (50%) and managing Jackson’s full time at-home Son Rise Program (www.autismtreatmentcenter.org).
Read “The Story of Team Jackson,” then come back here to read the Epilogue:
Misha and I returned to the Autism Treatment Center of America in Sheffield, Massachussetts, for the Advanced Leadership training called Maximum Impact. It was there, in those five days, that I furthered my personal growth and learned that with clarity of purpose, conviction, daring actions, passion and persistence, that I could become the Force of Nature that I am today. Through working on myself, my mindset and beliefs, I am able to be the best I can be…to myself and others. I am so thankful for the wonderful teachers at the Autism Treatment Center.
Our final visit to Sheffield was with Jackson! Misha, my mom and I packed our suitcases on a cross-country adventure to get top quality Son Rise training. We fundraised $15,000 to cover the cost of Jackson’s Son Rise Intensive Program. Jackson spent 5 full days in the Son Rise playroom, playing with the highest trained child facilitators. While Jackson built relationships and played his little heart out with these amazing individuals, Misha, my mom and I worked with Son Rise Teachers to further our knowledge about Son Rise, and continue developing our mindset and beliefs around Jackson, his abilities and his potential.
Team Jackson and his Son Rise Playroom lasted two full, amazing years. Reading this over makes me smile a giant smile and remember the special, magical moments Jackson and I had together in the playroom. The loving, accepting, playful volunteers who entered our home weekly are friends for life. We continue Jackson’s Son Rise playroom now part time, on the weekends. I know this world is full of amazingness, and Son Rise is the epitome of love and bonding through acceptance.