They do all the hard work

by Lisa Ackerman

hard work

OC Family magazine featured 10 Orange County moms to be recognized in their top supermom November issue:

To be considered one of OC’s top ten moms is a real honor. I laugh thinking about the therapy time I have racked up for my kids or husband.  Hopefully this wonderful award somewhat makes up for that.

I was awarded a day at Disneyland for the whole family.  The last time all of us went together to Disneyland was about nine years ago, so this was a great treat for all of us.  Disneyland was beautifully decorated for the holidays. It is always special to see the characters and special festivities during the holiday season. I have to admit, I loved it; it took me back to being 10 years old all over again!

Later that evening, the moms featured in the magazine were recognized in front of many great Disney supporters: mom bloggers.  Disneyland thanks them annually for supporting all things Disney throughout the year.

Ok, this is reading like a  bragging “look at me” story. That is not my intention. Please read on for the best part of the story.

As we were getting ready to leave, something completely unexpected happened that night:  I was tapped by someone on the shoulder.  When I turned around, a mom standing behind me promptly stated “I promised myself if I ever saw you again I would thank you.”  She proceeded to tell me that she had met me seven years ago at a TACA recovery kids’ seminar.  For the past nine years, TACA has brought together families for a special seminar to talk about cases of recovery. It is indeed one of my favorite meetings each year.

She continued to say that her son had been diagnosed just a few weeks before that seminar.   Barely able to get through the story without crying, she mentioned that today, her son no longer qualifies for an autism diagnosis:  he’s recovered.  She found TACA, received the tools she needed to help him and her son got better, a lot better!  That’s when I started crying…

I met her kid that night and he is pretty fabulous. The family smiles were the best.  This was a wonderful ending to a great family event at Disneyland.  Now that was a huge gift!

The job I have at TACA is hard for me, the staff and hundreds of volunteers that live and breathe our mission every day. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. I know our amazing staff and volunteers feel the same way:  we are driven. Times like this make the tremendous effort we put in on a daily basis more than worthwhile.

There are hundreds of recovery stories and surely some that we have not heard of yet.  Families who reach out to TACA work hard each day for a chance to help their kids reach their maximum potential, but the ones who work the hardest of all are the kids—they are my heroes!

TACA Superhero boy   DSC_0947


These pictures are cute photos of TACA kids at our Fall Festival / Super Hero Challenge

2 thoughts on “They do all the hard work

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  1. Congratulations, Lisa, for your well-deserved award! For so many autism parents, Fantasyland means having a healthy, happy child and you’ve helped to make that a reality for so many families. Thank you.

  2. Lisa, what a tremendous honor (and an even better gift!). Without TACA, those of us who were once alone and lost have found not only an incredible network of fellow parents who “get it,” many of us have also managed to bring our children back from the brink. We were little more than furniture to our little man nearly 4 years ago when he was diagnosed…and while he is not fully recovered, we’ve got an engaging, happy little guy who is aware of the people who love him and actively seeks out relationships with others. Had it not been for TACA, we may have continued to listen to the litany of doctors who refused to acknowledge the very real underlying medical concerns associated with our son’s diagnosis…and our older son may never have received a diagnosis at all.

    You are one of the most inspiring and kindhearted individuals that I have ever met, and the world is a far better place because of you and your tireless efforts for our families.

    In fact, I wanna be just like you when I grow up. 🙂 Love you, Lisa!!!

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