Today's blog entry is from a loving mother and care giver....Claudia Ulloa. Claudia's son, Luis Anthony was diagnosed with Autism. Below, in Claudia's own words are the challenges she faced initially, and how she has found inspiration in caring for Anthony. Enjoy another inspiring story how care giving becomes an inspiration for most!
"What"? "What is Autism"? I had never heard of this word. After discussions and finding out for myself what Autism was, it would be something that would forever change my life and my family's life. Ultimately we have adjusted to whatever Anthony needed us to be for him. My son's legal name is Luis Antonio Ulloa, but to the people who know him and love him call him Anthony.
One of the struggles I have come across has been finding the help and support that I need to meet Anthony's needs. It takes more than me. It takes a team. Including teachers, aids, friends, family and communities as a whole. I have over the years, at times, become frustrated because of the lack of programs to facilitate the appropriate needs of Anthony's education and well being. I have had to go to to the school district and fight for the needs that would accommodate Anthony. I've had to go from one district to the next just to find the basic classroom accommodations for my son. My son is not a number, he's not just a name on a list., He is Anthony. He is someone who deserves to be included in a less restrictive environment.
My inspiration comes through my faith. Overcoming these obstacles with Anthony is how I found my strength. That through God, all things are possible. I have learned from Anthony how to be patient. I've learned not to give up on him. Because with time he has proved me wrong. When I think he can't, He does it. For example: When he puts on his shirt and pants, he looks at the tag to know that it does not go in the front, where as in the beginning I didn't think he would learn. But, yes, Anthony proved me wrong. He knows, even when I didn't know. He is so amazing. My desire for Anthony is by getting a custom bike he will be able to participate in a community event called Tour de Palm Springs located in the city of Palm Springs,Ca. Its an event that is held annually. I include Anthony in all family events, whether we go to the movies or out to dinner, Anthony is no exception. I feel there should be no boundaries or limitations to my sons success in life. If there were more programs and resources in place this would help to enhance Anthony's potential to be more. Anthony understands, he listens and he knows what he wants. And this is why I call him my miracle.