I believe in hope. Former President Kennedy once said, “Every area of trouble gives out a ray of hope; and the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.” Through hope, one can accomplish the impossible, cure the incurable, reach the unreachable…reverse the irreversible. While working with autistic children for nearly 10 years now, this belief in hope has been planted within me.
Today Nicholas is a happy and healthy 12 year old boy. When I met him, he was two years old and had recently been diagnosed with autism like his big brother Nathan who was seven at the time. Initially, I was thirteen years old and was hired by their mother to play with them and keep an eye on them while she was around the house. This part-time babysitting job turned into something much more than I could have ever dreamed.
When Nicholas turned four and had yet to speak a word to anyone, his doctors said it was unlikely that he would ever be able to communicate. Sensing that the doctors and his parents were close to losing hope, I took it upon myself to do everything that I possibly could to get him speaking. The part-time position eventually turned into a 40 hour week when we would read book after book and play different word games each day for hours. I never gave up hope that tomorrow he would speak for the first time. Some would tell me I was wasting my time but I knew that he had so many words he wanted to say. By the time he was six, after four years of working with him, Nicholas was telling stories to everyone and has not stopped speaking since.
Throughout high school and college I have been exposed to and impacted by the challenges that Nicholas and Nathan face on a daily basis. My experience with these two boys has sculpted me in many ways but primarily they are responsible for my belief in the power of hope. I have since had many experiences with different people and heard various testimonies about how hope and faith has healed them. The power of hope is immeasurable and only you have control over its impact. What do you hope for?
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