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.
You and TACA were a great inspiration to my husband and I. We have three autisti children as well as several other medical disabilities with our children, but YOUR group helped us realize that it’s not the dr or the school districts that control our children’s lives, it’s up to us. Because of your influence and amazing help, we are starting a non profit organication here in Lancaster, Ca to help families much like ours get help, take control, and lead them to places like TACA that are geared towards specific issues they may be experiencing. Seeing how many lives you have touched just gives us hope that we will be able to do the same thing, and together we will make enough noise to make drs, legislatures, and school districts listen to the parents! Thank you for all your help, we are looking forward to seeing you at Conference next month! You are such a blessing to us!!
Lisa, we can’t imagine you doing anything else either! So glad you made this commitment and stuck with it. You have helped more families than you can imagine.
Thanks for that.
That’s awesome. I remember feeling so alone when we first found out our twins are on the spectrum. What a great support!