On a Saturday in April 2001 almost 60 parents gathered in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and backyard at a home. They were all looking for answers to help their children with autism. To date, this was our 6th parent meeting in that home.
I held my breath. I looked around. People were finding help. A mom cried and hugged a newly found friend because she just found a glimmer of hope following a dark prognosis. Dads were in the backyard hanging out, watching the kids, and finding new friends themselves. A new mom walked in holding the meeting announcement in her hand and I overheard her asking my daughter “Who’s in charge here?”
My daughter looked at me and smiled. It shocked me to hear the words “I am” come from my mouth.
In November 2011, TACA entered our 12th year in empowering and supporting families living with autism. In 2011, almost 300 meetings across the United States occurred to help families find answers and real hope for their kids. Today, TACA is approaching that 28,000 family mark. We need a bigger living room!
If you asked me 14 years ago, “What will you be doing in 2012?” I would have told you my career, family, and God willing, having another baby. Never in my mind did I think I would be leading a non-profit organization assisting families affected by autism. Looking back at the memories of this anniversary and reflecting where TACA needs to grow, I cannot imagine doing anything else.