21st August 2012
By: Steven Muller
“It’s hard for many people to believe that there are extraordinary things inside themselves, as well as others. I hope you can keep an open mind.” Elijah Price
The superheroes are back and in full force.
Summer is the season for blockbuster movies and this year has seen its share of men in tights. The Avengers, another Batman and a re-boot of the Spiderman series have movie goers parting with their hard earned cash.
I’ve grown tired of computer generated fight scenes but I haven’t grown tired of heroes.
Autism has its share of heroes. Minus a cape flowing in the wind and a utility belt full of magical devices, there have been people that have changed the world for those with autism. These real heroes work valiantly and tirelessly, without recognition they deserve.
One of those heroes in the autism community is Ruth Sullivan. Ruth partnered with Bernie Rimland in the 1960’s to create what would become the Autism Society of America. This was the first national organization that would stand up for the needs of individuals and families facing this diagnosis. She helped many recognize this disability was not a parenting issue but an educational matter.
Ruth also realized that a child with autism required direct services created the Autism Services Center that would reach throughout the state of West Virginia and provide a model for other agencies across the country.
Not finished yet, Ruth called upon friends that led similar organizations – and a few that wanted to start and she formed a national association devoted to address the complex needs of adults with autism, the National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism.
And like so many of the comic book heroes who are more than happy to go about their daily lives in an unassuming role, disguised as everyday folk, Ruth is the last person ever asking for any recognition of her efforts.
Its important we recognize Ruth and the others that lifted us all up to be in a position where we stand tall today.
That’s the kind of superhero worth celebrating.
Comment? Email me at Steve@TheHomestead.org