Being a Light for Others

This newspaper article has been hanging on my fridge since my son E was five years old.

And it will stay there forever.

It is the fourth interview I did with our local newspaper and has my favorite title: “Autism doesn’t change children’s core”.

This aged paper, changing with time, is part of us. We age and change along with it. To me it is a reminder of where we were and how far we have come from the darkest times of our Autism journey.

The times of loneliness and longing.

In today’s day of social media and cell phones it may be hard to imagine that this is how I started my advocacy.

This is how I desperately searched for other families like mine. I went to the newspaper and told our story.

I put my then land line phone number in each article and waited for the phone to ring.

It wasn’t until after my third interview that someone finally reached out.

That phone call, all those years ago, is what started my journey with advocacy, inclusion, and support.

I knew there had to be someone out there who needed me as much as I needed them. Someone who was feeling the darkness I felt. 

Darkness over the hard days.

Darkness from fighting for insurance.

Darkness over the loss of self.

Darkness from the thoughts that consume you.

Darkness from the loss of hope.

Darkness from the loss of dreams.

Darkness from the lack of sleep.

Darkenss from all the therapy.

Darkness from all of the financial obligations.

Darkness from fear of the future.

Darkness from time away from my other babies.

Darkenss over marriage taking a back seat.

Darkness from the unknown.

Darkness from………all of it.

I am thankful now for social media. I have met some amazing families and fearless mamas!

I have been able to help countless people just by sharing our story. Even the day to day boring stuff.

I have also been able to listen to others, offer no opinion at all, and just sit there with them in the dark.

I will sit with you in the dark.

I will do this because it is all I ever longed for in the early years, and it is so important to just know someone is on your side….encouraging you, supporting you, having been there to just sit with you in the dark.

And maybe, just maybe, be your light. 

Written by, Jacqui Folks

Jacqueline “Jacqui” Folks is an author who lives in Eudora, Kansas with her husband, Mike. She is a busy mother of three sons, Bret, Ethan and Garrett. In 2003, Jacqui’s middle son, Ethan, was diagnosed with Autism. His diagnosis came at a time when resources for Autism were scarce, so Jacque found herself on a journey of self-education to enrich the life of her child. In 2005, Jacqui started a support group for parents in her local community. Several years later, the ladies she met through that journey joined forces and co-founded the Eudora ACES (Autism Community Education and Support). ACES is a successful non-profit organization dedicated to helping other families with their journey through Autism and supplying necessary equipment and resources for special education classes in their school district. She is also the author of the children’s book, Adventures with Big E-Help With Hygiene. You can follow their journey on Facebook at Adventures with Big E.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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