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Success for Jonah
Success for Jonah
By bdibble / June 8, 2018
Dear Friend of PEAK:
Meet the Scott family: Daryl, Suzi, Jordan, Adriana, and Jonah. They are a typical American family with lots of laughter, late nights of homework, going to the movies, Dad and Jonah working on cars together on weekends.
However, Jonah, has a diagnosis of autism. This diagnosis came when Jonah was very young, with the family soon realizing that life was going to be different for them as they were thrust into the roles of advocacy and educating people around them. They had to do things differently. Suzi knew that knowledge would be the foundation to ensure that their son got to live a happy and included life and, so hungry for information, she quickly sharpened her advocacy skills.
While Jonah was in elementary school, Suzi, her family and those close to the family would host World Autism Awareness Day events in an effort to educate Jonah’s peers. She wanted his young friends to know, that first and foremost, he was a kid, just like them. When middle school came along though, Jonah didn’t want kids to know he had a disability. Upon entering high school, kids saw that Jonah sometimes went to separate classes, but why he left their classes was never shared. So, there was more work to do.
Though this is a family of fierce advocates who attend PEAK activities, Suzi asked herself, “Why do my family and I keep going to the PEAK workshop and back to the conference each year? Shouldn’t we already know this information?” After talking with her family, they realized that they keep attending PEAK activities because they continue to learn new skills and ways to approach problems they are encountering. They then pass along this new learning to their friends and their community – even by presenting to their school district.
Jonah has learned many self-advocacy skills in the PEAK trainings for teens. His sister describes him as blossoming after these experiences. He has grown so much that when picking a topic to present about the brain for a class last semester, Jonah chose the area of Autism. During the class he disclosed to his friends that he has autism, but he is still just like everyone else because he, like them, likes pizza, cars, movies. When talking with his dad about how the class reacted, Jonah said they just treated him like a peer, and everyone was kind.
Families like the Scotts inspire PEAK to spread the word to others about opportunities and access for teens and all children. PEAK has a vision for families across the state of Colorado. That vision is for them to experience success just like the Scott family. PEAK wants families across the state of Colorado to live their dreams and have the same successes as the Scott family. Dreams for families come in many forms, and to realize them, families often just need a boost of information, inspiration, and strategies from others who’ve advocated for their children.
You can be a dream maker by making a donation to PEAK today! Families’ needs are far larger than the partial funding PEAK receives from government support. Your donation to PEAK will allow us to be able to serve more families across the state. You care about children reaching their potential, and your gift will go a long way to supporting additional families no matter the size of your gift. Whether you give a little or a lot, your gift helps children reach their potential, and every amount helps.
For the future,
Emily Rome, Development Coordinator
P.S. Suzi dreams of schools and communities who will value the rights, hopes, dreams, and contributions of all people with disabilities. Will you help mothers like Suzi fight for this worthy dream?