This was my second year walking in the Just Be You Walk for Autism, benefiting the Autism Society of the Heartland at KU Edwards Campus. I became a participant last year due to my little man, Noah. I was originally hired to teach everyone in the family sign language because Noah wasn’t able to speak. However, during our first lesson I quickly learned Noah wouldn’t settle for just signing. He was determined to talk. And a few months after working with him, he was doing just that! Even though the family didn’t need me anymore, we still stay in touch and I get to see the kids from time to time. So this is my favorite walk because I get to walk with them!
Yes, Team Noah represents just a small portion of Noah’s special qualities. He may be shy and need to go at his own pace, but he will hug you in his special way. He isn’t capable of vindictive thoughts or actions. And as I’ve watched Noah sit on the floor, rock, and stare at the lights, I thought, “Why can’t we be more like Noah?” Why can’t we be content with the simple things? Why can’t we know only love and share it with others? This little man is so smart! I’m pretty sure he’s smarter than me. It’s just a matter of tapping into it all. I was so blown away listening to him sing the National anthem before the walk. I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Yes, this little man is going to change the world.
Noah isn’t the only tiny teacher in this family. His little sister, my little chipmunk, went from booth to booth during the walkathon and either made something for her big brother or got two of everything so he could have one, too. Her compassion is an inspiration to all. Even though she’s the little sister, she knows her brother is very special and helps him move throughout crowds and encourages him to try new things. They are inseparable.
I love spending time with this family because they truly help me put the world into perspective. They remind me of the person I want to be. They remind me of how strong love is.