• April 18, 2013
  • Generation Rescue
  • 0
Inspiration and Success

Hero is defined as “one of distinguished courage or ability.”  Inspire is “to produce or arouse a feeling or thought.” What this means to me is that heroes inspire hope in those who look to them.   They do this through finding success in the most challenging and difficult circumstances.  We even write about this in elementary school.  I remember getting that assignment at multiple grade levels, and my hero was always the same: my father.  That was then. . .


Things have changed, and I have a new hero: my son, Harrison.  Ever since fighting his way back from a nearly nonverbal form of autism, Harrison has definitely fit the role of hero.  He HAS found success in the most difficult and challenging circumstances; he HAS looked adversity in the face and not given up.  And through this, he inspired a hope in me that wouldn’t quit.  Whenever I think my day is difficult, I look to what he fought through for basic survival in this world, and my problems suddenly become miniscule.


Here’s a few examples of how he’s done this and given me an overall sense of hope for the future.  He’s been seeking out friends at school, and recently, he even wanted to invite a friend to his latest birthday party.  That was a first!  The last field trip of his that I went as a chaperone, he told me that he didn’t want to sit beside me because he wanted to sit beside his friend and that I had to go sit somewhere else.  Even though I love spending as much time with him as possible, it brought me a sense of joy and happiness that he didn’t want to sit beside me.


I also have never been so happy to break up fights between Harrison and his younger brother (Isaac) over toys.  And it was just a few weeks ago that I heard them talking in their playroom.  I was waiting for the next fight to break out, but they were actually talking and making jokes about their toys.  They were giggling and laughing together, and it was such a wonderful thing to hear.  They’ve been doing this more and more, and I often sit at the tops of the steps just to listen.  It makes me realize that my dream of two happy little boys playing together has come true.


Earlier in the school year, Harrison’s teacher emailed me and my wife to say that Harrison was doing such a great job in his (mainstreamed) class just being amongst all the other students that she was going to nominate him for a citizenship award.  He did get that award, and it was presented to him in front of the entire school.  I wasn’t able to attend (work), but seeing pictures of him standing with his peers, award in hand, greatened my love for and pride in him and the boy he was (and still is) becoming.


And it was just a few nights ago I caught myself having a normal conversation with him about what we were going to be doing that night.  I was on my way home from work when I called my wife to see if she needed anything I could get on the way home.  She said no, but she also said that Harrison wanted to talk to me.  He asked me a variety of questions about what we were going to do when I got home, what games we were going to play, and what games we were going to play after that.  He even said that he wanted to skip his bath, so we could read more books together.  I was responding to him, asking him questions, and he was responding back to me.  This went on for the better part of 7 or 8 minutes.  When I got off the phone (a hands-free device of course!), it took a few minutes for it to hit.  I suddenly thought to myself, “I just had a conversation with my son.”  It was a truly amazing moment.


 When Harrison was first diagnosed with autism, I had no notion of success.  Actually, I had no notion of anything.  I was lost in a dark tunnel where there seemed no light at the end of it.  I was once asked what my expectations were with treating my son’s symptoms with all these “alternative treatments.”  I simply responded that I had no expectations, only hope.  And it’s a hope that keeps growing with each success, and with each success, the light at the end of the once-dark tunnel gets bigger and bigger.  I found (and continuously modify) my own definition of success and keep the hope alive through every little positive step Harrison makes.  I’ve found my success in him, and he’s found his success in me.  We depend on each other for overall success on this ever-winding road to recovery.


About the Author
Cody Jordan is the proud father of 8-year old Harrison and 3-year old Isaac.  He and his wife Jolene live in the Midwest.  Connect with him on Twitter: @Autism_Papa.

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