God’s Child

KaintoyaGod’s Child. Whether one is born into severe poverty or great wealth; an ideal family structure or one that is non-traditional it is my sincere belief, however fleeting the notion, that their parents imagine them great. They envision that their child could be the next president or engineer or even pop star. They smile at the possibilities of myriad opportunities which can be afforded to their child—opportunities that either were unavailable to them due to circumstances, societal injustices, or lack of invention. I can’t begin to explain the guttural pain that refuses to give release through sound when a parent is told that their child will never amount to anything. Anything. The helplessness that engulfs that parent when the stinging information comes from a medical professional who has been trained to first do no harm is so overwhelming that one literally has to be told to breathe again, an involuntary action that even a fetus can perform. Now imagine that you are a single parent but you are armed with a college degree, a source of employment, and your own living accommodations. Stretching your mind to problem solve is second nature but now you are struck ignorant because the problem before you skipped the forty-first child born and landed within your child. Furthermore the problem has decided to stay and would like to be addressed as Autism. Kai N. Dawson was diagnosed with Autism fourteen years ago when there was no viable information that medical professionals shared with his mother. Many could make inferences that his mother was met with so many challenges because they refused to believe that she lacked the proper knowledge to conduct the proper research about Autism, what there was of it at the time, or because she wasn’t the perceived notion of a parent whose child had Autism should look like, sound like, or deserve the services that they were providing to others. Whatever the reason or challenges she was able to surmount them and catapult her son into various schools and programs which allowed him to not only meet minimum requirements in education but soar. If Kai’s mother had internalized the forecast of Kai’s life which included never speaking, never learning as others learn, never socializing, never being able to have a career or hold a menial job, never having a quality of life to speak of, she would have failed as a parent. Kai is a shining example of perseverance. He is an exemplar of living life to the fullest and what it means to truly be God’s child. At sixteen, Kai’s high school sophomore resume Kaiwithposterincludes numerous awards, public speaking, good grades—from his mainstream classes, member of the Cub Scouts, praise and worship ministry, media ministry, Tae Kwon Do (provisional black belt), holder of a driver’s learner’s permit, engineer mentee of Dr. Chen of North Carolina State University, third place candidate of the engineer design challenge headed to Washington, D.C. and exploring Puerto Rico in June with his class. As the month in which we celebrate Autism Awareness draws to a close, our journey with Kai continues. His smile, warm spirit, and dedication to his family and patience with us all—sometimes we are the ones with the disability, abounds. We are fortunate that he views his Autism as something so secondary that when we celebrate his accomplishments, others…mostly me, are arrogant in saying, “What did you expect? My Godchild is God’s child.” I love and adore someone with Autism and his name is Kai N. Dawson. I want to be like him when I grow up.

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