The best accomplishment of the year involves the number 8


By Lisa Ackerman


TACA just finished our 14th year this past month. I am so pleased by the many accomplishments we’ve been able to achieve over the years, now serving 45,000 families across the U.S.


I am so very proud of the small staff and army of volunteers that deliver services with the focus of helping one family at time. Without them, there is no TACA.


If you haven’t had a chance yet, please view our 2013 accomplishments and annual report (1.)   I cannot wait to share all of our major milestones from 2014 in January.


In anticipation, an incredible achievement for this year involves the number 8. Eight might seem a small number to some, but in my mind it’s a milestone larger than Mount Everest. The number 8 is huge. In 2014, we saw 8 TACA kids graduate from high school and move into college with the hope of promising futures.


I cannot help but marvel: These are eight kids and families that were given little help and hope but achieved a major milestone.


8 kids that will share incredible gifts with the world.

8 families excited about their next steps.

8 individuals that did the seemingly impossible feat.


It’s not secret: I believe in children with autism and write about it often (2.)  I know that investing in them today by believing in therapies and medical treatments unique to their needs will help lead them to a brighter future. I believe in recovery and a future full of great possibilities (3.) This video says it all (4.) Autism does not have to be a game over diagnosis, it is game on. I encourage families to see the opportunity for their child living with autism. I also encourage them to reach out to TACA for help.


Sadly, some individuals will not recover from autism and unfortunately, there is no way we can predict that outcome.  But I DO believe that all individuals can make progress toward leading a fulfilling life. All individuals deserve the hope and chance to improve their condition.  I am committed to keep looking for answers to help all TACA families — ALWAYS.


In celebrating the accomplishments of these 8 kids, we also double down on our efforts to help families with what they face on their journeys.  We have much work to do to help all families living with autism.


I am so proud of these 8 kids!  I send congratulations to their families but most of all, I bow down to these amazing individuals that are carving a path for thousands of brighter futures behind them.


I cannot wait to share the 2015 number!

Andrea levy graduates   Matt graduates Leya Graduates     andrew Z graduates

And don’t forget Christian’s great commencement speech (& photo!)

Christians selfie

(Special thanks to the families sharing their private photos as our inspiration. 3 families would like to remain anonymous.)



2 thoughts on “The best accomplishment of the year involves the number 8

Add yours

  1. Dear Lisa,

    That is wonderful. How do I get connected to try to help my daughter and family with their 6 year old son who suffers from autism? He is in a special program at the public school but there are so many issues at home and their lives are in constant turmoil because of his outbursts and unpredictability. We know something but not enough and to complicate things his mother is ill, his father is trying to hold a job and they have little time to follow up on anything. They just survive as best they can. We need to tap into some of the resources of TACA and get involved with a support group and a family counselor. We have no help because the behavior is not something most sitters/helpers are familiar with nor willing to put up with.

    Any information or contact person you can refer us to would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Kathy C

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