Beading to Beat Autism

A very dear friend of mine, gifted me a bracelet the other day. Although any gift from her is something held dear to my heart, this one specifically, has a very deep meaning to it.

 Special needs children have always had a special place in my soul. As a child, I had the privilege to see my grandmother work with special needs adults. I was always fascinated by her; she was so loving and endearing. As a little girl, I felt intimidated seeing adults that seemed so different. I'll never forget that moment. 6 years old, sitting on top of the counter at an adult home, as my grandmother tended to a man that was very upset. She calmly explained to me not to be scared, that these were very special people that God had made. I was amazed to see how loving and caring she was to this complete stranger, and how unafraid she was. It was because of her, that I had decided to work with special needs children throughout high school and college. I can't even being to express how much those children & adults touched my heart.

. Ironically, 6 years ago, God blessed me with an Autistic son as well. Its funny how things work out. :-) Anyone who has had the opportunity to work with a special needs child, would tell you what a gift it is to be surrounded by their love. There is something so innocent, and endearing, about a special needs child. Its like experiencing the world through a new set of eyes.

This bracelet gifted to me, was created by a little girl, name Michala Riggle. I researched her a bit (the website is down as I write this), and her story is quite interesting. At 10 years old, her Autistic brother was receiving treatments at Kosairs hospital, that was not readily available to other children. The hospital didn't have the funds to study this new treatment, so she gave her mother her savings $7.36 cents to donate.. She began beading, and selling her bracelets at fairs to raise money for the studies necessary. She reached her goal of $200,000 dollars to fund the studies necessary. With persistence and drive, anyone has the ability to do anything they set out to do. Within the past five years, she's raised over $500,000!! And she's not done yet, she's set a goal of to raise $300 million to build a state-of the-art center for children with Autism. It will have a school so Autistic children can be observed and supported as they learn.
 "It will be a place where moms and dads are understood and supported."- Southeast Outlook
Any parent of a child with special needs, can understand how difficult it is to tackle this alone. To have a place where parents are supported, would just offer so much to many families that are lost, and searching for help. Because of this, I ask anyone who is reading, to take a few minutes, look at their site, and contribute any way that you can<3

And to my special friend, thank you for the gift. And thank you for loving my sons<3

How has special needs affected your life?

Lots of Love<3

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