changing lives

As my friend Maya Angelou often tells me, “When you know better, you do better.”

~ Oprah Winfrey


Awareness changes lives.


What you are about to see is what we live.

We’ve endured the sneers.

We’ve gratefully accepted the support.

It’s a simple formula.

The more we teach, the more people know.

The more people know, the less we see the stares; the more we have the support that our children so richly deserve and so desperately need.

Awareness changes lives.


Click –> HERE <– to watch the fruits of awareness in action.

And to the people who stood up for the family, THANK YOU.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

21 thoughts on “changing lives

  1. I watched the show when it was on, reluctantly, because I was afraid of what I’d see and how I’d feel.
    I cried with joy. And I cried as the fear slowly left me.
    We all know those looks. But in this video, the looks are of compassion and understanding. How can you not love that?

  2. We actually experienced the negative diner at our local diner years ago. It was one of our worst autism related experiences. Lucky for us the diner owners made us feel comfortable to return. I must admit we didn’t do it right away and I tried to avoid the time of day that person seemed to be there for years, but this acted out scene happens every day. It happens on playgrounds, in restaurants, at theaters. The only way our children learn is by having experiences. They have to struggle with some of them more than other children and they rarely do it quietly. We try to choose events where the reactions will not disturb others too much and where we can make a quick escape when necessary, but the support from those around us is what makes us decide to try an event again or not. This is one of those it takes a village moments. We just need the village to give us the time to help our children figure out how to navigate the more public parts of their lives.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It made me cry when people rallied to the family.

  3. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this, but I am hopeful for the future of humanity. I wish every place was as compassionate as that cafe seemed to be, but together we can help make that happen!

  4. Like Alysia, I was very reluctant to watch this show. Would the actors’ portrayals be accurate, would the folks at the restaurant be compassionate, would it be sensationalistic, would it anger me, frustrate me, comfort me? So, at the last minute, like a total coward, I chickened out and waited to see how the community would react. After watching, I’m glad that I finally did. Awareness is a living, breathing, feeling entity, and in clips like this one, starring what I would consider to be the everyday heroes, I see it growing. Thank you for being the eyes to preview this, Jess. And thank you to all of the budding advocates in that diner.

  5. Oh wow, that video hit hard – even knowing it was actors didn’t stop it from hitting in a space that I thought had been well and truly patched to look like new!

  6. Thank you SO much for sharing that. Wow. That gives me SO much hope for real understanding and compassion. I am drenched in tears. Drenched.

  7. Thank you for posting this…I missed it the other night! Those people were awesome! We can only hope all Our Diner’s Are filled with people like that! Awareness does change lives!!

  8. Thank you…as I wipe away tears..again. It is encouraging to see so many people stick up for our kids. Awareness…one step at a time.

  9. I have been the mom who got up and left, not wanting my girl to be subjected to the ugliness of people who don’t get it and who don’t even want to try. But man, this hope is contagious — awareness DOES change lives.

  10. Oh Jess. Thanks so much for sharing this. Although it is very painful to watch, I’m so glad I did. We’ve been that family when we had no idea what was “wrong” with our son…when the “professionals” kept telling us that he was developmentally “normal” and “just fine”…and the only thing to explain his behavior to others is that he was an undisciplined bad behaving child. And that was really very hurtful…because we knew in our hearts what the truth was, but none of the “professionals” would listen to us and get our son the help he needed.


  11. Gotta give us a hankie alert!!!! Thank you so much. I was afraid it was going to get ugly – we’ve all been there, but there was just compassion. I love that it showed grown men standing up – not just women – since so many times men have a harder time accepting this life. LOVE IT!

  12. This very topic is slated on my blog for the week as well. I am not a naturally thick-skinned individual, and the sneers and glares affect me profoundly. This segment was therapeutic for me to see. It made me realize that a.) I’m not the only one who feels like this when eating out (or any number of situations) and that b.) there really are good, understanding people in this world. I think you’re so right, Jess..we can change people’s hearts and minds, one at a time.

  13. And from my 70 year old Dad (Granddad to two kiddos on the spectrum) after I forwarded to him this morning…:

    I don’t know if I’m getting soppy in my old age but I couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched the clip. Thanks for sending along such a powerful account.

    We are all so touched by the support. Touched by memories of the hurtful bits. Deeply touched. Thanks again for sharing. Your messages always go far beyond your blog… not sure if you know that each time. xo

    • oh, man. thank you. that’s all sorts of awesome. and tell granddad not to worry – i sobbed for fifteen minutes 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s