Lindsay's story was written by her mother, Patty Stewart, in honor of Autism Awareness Month.
I will never forget that day. The day the neurologist looked at me and told me that my daughter, Lindsay, would never know who I was or recognize me as her mother. He said she would never function in society or do anything on her own. This came after a battery of tests and evaluations.
The final diagnosis: autism.
Fast forward several years. Needless to say, we did not accept the doctor’s dire predictions. My husband and I sought out any services we could find and discovered the Waiver system. Lindsay’s number had come up and she was now beginning to receive services.
I had known Carol Marion since Lindsay had been in daycare. Carol had an office in the same building. I was delighted to discover she was working as a case manager. We sat at that first meeting and Carol asked what we wanted Lindsay’s future to look like. So we told her. We wanted her to have as much independence as possible. We wanted Lindsay to live in her own home and have a life of her own.
Lindsay was happily bouncing off the walls during this discussion. At the time, she had zero social skills. She had almost no self-care skills and looking at then, I’m sure that goal seemed impossible to most, but not Carol.
She began telling us what therapies were available and what we could do to help Lindsay reach her goals. Carol and IPMG have never given up. Carol has worked tirelessly to help Lindsay and we are proud to say that today, at age 22, Lindsay is, in fact, living in her own home and beginning to make a life for herself as a young adult. She has her own friends and activities. She participates in Special Olympics and Little League Challenger Baseball. She puts her hand over her eyes in exasperation if we visit her at her home 15 minutes from ours too often and politely tells us to go home.
AND she calls me “Mom”.
IPMG and Carol helped us fulfill our dreams for Lindsay.
Story written by Patty Stewart