When Ben was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 1/2 we had no idea what was ahead on his journey. We were filled with fear of the unknown and I was personally wracked with guilt figuring I was somehow responsible for this diagnosis.
We know now that autism is just something with which you are born. For any parents out there feeling like I did in that moment, take time, allow yourself the time to grieve if needed, but know that there was nothing you did to cause this and nothing you could have done to prevent it.
Ben has exceeded all our expectations and has had some incredible experiences that are detailed in previous blogs as well as in our book "“Swinging From the Chandelier: Finding Joy in the Journey Through Autism” available on our website
One of Ben's super powers is that he can find others in a crowd that are on the autism spectrum like himself. We have so many stories from the time that he worked at Dorney park and how he changed the course of a family's day but just saying hello and helping to reset a potential meltdown. The manager said that:
"Ben received more positive guest comment cards than any other employee!"
He is always on the lookout to direct people to the sensory room where you can take a minute out from the overstimulation of the park, decompress and cool off.
We made long time friends with a family that traveled to Dorney every year for vacation and have spent weekends together visiting each other all because of Ben's warm hello's in the park.
Ben loves working for the Eagles football team as game day staff at Lincoln Financial Field. Everyone gets green wings to wear when they start and then staff can earn bronze, silver and gold wings related to guest experiences that they help facilitate. Ben was so proud to earn his bronze wings the first season on the job just being himself and helping others make their day less stressful and more enjoyable.
We are so grateful for people like Tom (pictured above) who love and understand Ben and help him do his best work as game day staff. Go birds!!!
Thank you Ben for looking for and spreading kindness wherever you go. You make the world a better place!
Love you more...