“Your greatest power lies in touching
someone’s life and changing it forever.”
– Pablo Rounder
I wanted to do something different with my blog over the summer. After a discussion with a wonderful friend, I realized how inspiring and compelling it would be to hear about Luke’s Son-Rise journey from perspectives other than mine. I am so excited to share that over the next few months, Luke’s volunteers as well his dad will be sharing their individual and unique Son-Rise experiences and journeys. I am also planning on sharing a perspective from an interview with Luke’s youngest and biggest fan, his sister.
I am so excited for you to see the beautiful world and amazing people Son-Rise has so elegantly woven into our lives. Luke and we as a family are forever grateful for these very special, amazingly open-hearted individuals that have touched our lives and literally changed them forever.
Meet Maria and here is her story…..
Lucas is an 8-year-old boy that has forever changed my life. This boy has shown me a different world, a beautiful world. I was going through personal struggles, stuck in a dark place. My mother told me about a job offer with special needs children. I have encountered many with special needs, but had no work experience in the field. On the first day of work, the teacher showed me around her room. Every Paraprofessional was paired with a student. My student was Lucas.
The children were taken off the bus. There was a boy screaming and crying and unable to calm down. His tears were painful to watch and hear. This boy was hurting, struggling but there was nothing any of us could do to help. I sat by Lucas on the floor and waited. Over the weeks I got to know Lucas very well. He always listened to what he was supposed to do, but never seemed happy. There were many tantrums throughout the days, often hunched over in pain, full of frustration, and incapable of communicating. Lucas hardly looked me in the eyes, and cringed if I touched him. There was so much distance between the world and this lost boy. I grew to care very deeply for Luke. He would say my name, asking specifically for me to take him to class. I knew there was a relationship. It was all he could give, but it was more than enough for me.
Working with special need children became a passion of mine. So I joined a summer camp called SCAMP. This is where Shannon (Lucas’s mom) approached me. She asked me to join The Son-Rise program. Immediately I was intrigued. I read though the description and couldn’t wait to sign up.
I would work with Lucas twice a week in the playroom, constantly running around doing exactly as he did. Joining this amazing child’s world, putting myself in his shoes and wanting to understand his complex perspective. Over time I would catch him looking at me, seeing me as person rather than an object. As the sessions continued he smiled more, he looked at me, and used his words rather than using tantrums as a way to communicate. The Son-Rise program has not only changed me but is saving Lucas from a lonely misunderstood life.
Today Lucas is laughing, playing games, and showing compassion and love for others around him. He is now seeing how wonderful the world is and how impactful relationships can be. This boy is going to recover from autism through the Son-Rise program and all of his loved ones around him are going to be the reason why!