As I sat in church yesterday, I recalled how I first stood in front of our former church (back in Japan) to ask for volunteers who could help us run our son-rise program.
Marie was one of the first to respond to our invitation. She even recruited another friend to help us.
She came to our home every week after school. Even on school holidays, Marie to use her holidays to be with Nathan. And she never missed a monthly team meeting.
When she first came to play with Nathan, there was no words (at least no intentional speech), there was no interaction and there was no eye-contact. Marie simply “joined” Nathan in his world of autism and learned his autism language first before inviting him to speak our language. Above all, Marie simply loved playing with Nathan and Nathan knew it! During their sessions, I would enjoy listening to their laughter.
With the rest of that first son-rise team, Nathan started asking us for things, his “voice” was finally heard, his eye-contact went from 5% to 90%. He started looking right at us and he started wanting to be around people more. All this happened in as little as one month of part-time son-rise.
We have moved to Singapore since but Marie, will always be a special to us.
For me, as a parent, Marie gave me the ability to believe that there are people out there who can love my child for who he is and who will to hold our hands as we journey through autism.
What an amazing world we live in and how blessed we are to be surrounded by such amazing people!