Life Changes

12
Apr

Life Changes

So what’s my story? It is much like Nicole and Michelle’s. As I’ve said
before I am a speech/language pathologist by trade and have worked in the
schools for my whole career. It was about 7 years ago when I first started
working with children on the autism spectrum in that capacity. As some of
you may know my goals at that point were to get the children communicating
in any way I could. What I was doing at that point wasn’t wrong it just
wasn’t the best and I was continually searching for new better ways to go
about this. The one thing I knew from the start is that I have a connection
with children on the autism spectrum and this was to be the path my career
was to take. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find your passion in life
and actually pursue it. I feel lucky to be one of those people.

So following that passion and having the great opportunity to connect with
Nicole 7 years ago I started to learn more about children with autism.
Three years ago I split my responsibilities at school between providing
speech and language services and being an autism teacher consultant. At
that point it was thought that in order for me to completely assume the role
of teacher consultant I should complete the autism certification program
which I did 2 years ago. I went through the process, but really just felt
like I was going through the motions to get the certification. I didn’t
feel I was learning much or adding to my knowledge base.

Amazingly it was at that same time that Nicole was completing her
certification in the CORE Approach program. She was so excited and enthusiastic
about this new way of thinking about autism. She invited Michelle and I to
attend the 2 day conference in Ann Arbor in June of 2005. Like I said above
I had just completed my autism certification through the state of Michigan
(which I totally paid for on my own). After an hour I knew I had found the
answer to all of my searching and wondered why I had just wasted all of that
money on certification that was so totally wrong. I left that two day
conference so excited that I decided on the ride home to pursue
certification myself.

Let me tell you what a big deal it was for me to make that decision that
day. I absolutely hate change. I do not like to rock the boat and had
always pictured myself staying in the schools as a speech/language
pathologist for 30+ years until I was ready to retire, but over the past few
years getting up and going to work just hasn’t been all that satisfying and
I knew I was ready for a new challenge and a change. It just so happens
that my cousin’s youngest child was diagnosed on the spectrum around this
same time so I felt like God was talking to me telling me to do this. This is what my life is supposed to be about.

This has been the single most amazing journey of my life so far. I
literally got on a plane for only the second time in my life to travel 1500
miles to Houston on my very first trip outside of Michigan by myself into
the best experience of my life! I have found my 212° point it is seeing all
of the amazing changes the families in the RDI program have undergone.
Every day brings a new challenge and a new excitement. I can’t believe all
of the wonderful things I see the children we work with doing. Each time I
watch a tape, work with a family or see our individual instruction students
I just can’t believe what a difference there has been.

So thank you Nicole for changing my life forever! I will be indebted to you
always for helping my find my boiling point.

Please take a moment and check out the 212° learning opportunities we will
be providing this fall. I think you will be as excited as we are.

Talk to you soon,
Erin

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