Grateful for 2022 – Inspired for 2023

TACA started over two decades ago. Founded out of necessity, my son Jeff continues to be my inspiration to show up every day. To say the going was never easy is an understatement. Jeff didn’t have overnight successes or breakthroughs. However, consistency and perseverance unlocked a hopeful future. Jeff worked hard every day as a little boy with no language who couldn’t follow a one-step instruction. He has developed into an amazing young man and still greets each day with a smile and positivity. Not only did Jeff graduate college this year, but he also found his voice and turned it into music. This year, at my request, and for the first time in front of an audience, Jeff performed a song he wrote about his hope for the future at TACA’s annual gala Ante Up for Autism. Jeff continues to inspire me personally and to keep up the work of helping families. By sharing his performance, I hope you are inspired to keep up the work too.

Jeff says in his opening remarks, “I realize with life, as with autism, everyone’s journey is different. Everyone has unique challenges to overcome. Some seem small, others large. But let me assure you that for myself and all my friends with autism, the effort required for each accomplishment is significant, and all are equal in importance.”

Jeff is right. Large or small, every accomplishment for our kids is significant. Each accomplishment is a building block in a path to a hopeful future. That’s what TACA is about and why I continue to get up every day and work through the hard stuff. The reward far outweighs the effort.

Below is Jeff’s presentation and performance at the Ante Up for Autism 2022 gala.

For the full dose of inspiration, you can view the entire Ante Up program at

Thank you to our volunteers, board, staff, and incredible supporters. A special hug to every TACA family. Wishing your family good health and many celebrations.

Best wishes for the new year,
Lisa Ackerman

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