Passion for Improving the Quality of Lives
Passion for Improving the Quality of LivesFebruary 23, 2016, CJ's Corner
Writing about the passion I have felt and seen while working with ACES employees and delivering services to families, schools and working in the community does not require any “research” on my part. This is something that comes straight from the heart; as such, I would like to address this month’s theme from a personal perspective.
From my first contact with “ACES,” which was in the form of a conversation with founder Kristin Farmer, it was apparent she was driven by a passion for helping children, and their families, who were impacted by autism. She came “alive” when she described her plans for growing ACES to be able to serve more families. She exhibited then a phrase that has clicked with me – “we have to help more families.”
As I started my 10th year with ACES and look back at the countless interactions I have had with ACES employees, the support staff as well as the service delivery staff, I find the personal and professional value of “passion” as a driving force. It is evident when engaging in conversations about what we do and how we do it.
From teaching basic ABA principles and strategies to newly hired employees entering the field, to interactions with every position within the company, I find time and time our conversations turn to the countless cases and stories we share about what we were able to do to help our clients. As I have attended countless supervisor meetings, I hear the same energy and excitement about the new strategies being embraced that allow us to do more.
Recently there has been an increase in software for our field. This includes everything from games and learning exercises that have now become available in the form of applications on electronic tablets to state of the art data collection software, all of which allow us to do, more and more for our clients.
Being able to enter data in a timely manner, see the data graphed, and view the progress made quickly visible brings our work to life even faster.
I am contacted by a number of co-workers across the offices in the different states where ACES provides services and I continually experience the passion when discussing challenging cases and share ideas and strategies for the case supervisor to implement. I hear the excitement in their voices when they see more possibilities to crack through a particularly difficult problem and get at the key elements that will work for that individual client.
I hear countless stories of successes about children and parents connecting effectively and incorporating new communication skills and advancing the independence of a child now able to do more things to promote a growing confidence in the child. I try to compliment the person who has worked so hard to help the child and help the parent find doable strategies that can continue throughout the day, week and following years. What I hear back is “I’m so proud of him, he worked so hard and now he can do it by himself.” Often I hear, “this parent has learned so much and I almost cry at the dedication I see every time I work with the parent sharing strategies and modeling ways to help their child.”
The passion for helping individuals impacted with autism so clearly extends beyond the services we at ACES are able to devote as we see the same passion in the families we work with to teach them simple effective strategies they incorporate into their child’s daily routines. It is such a gift of love to see so many people coming together demonstrating time and time the tireless efforts driven by a passion that is unending.
It’s easy to speak from the heart having worked with so many others in the service of improving the quality of life and the rewards of seeing progress makes all the effort, dedication and constant learning of how to better solve problems, driven by the passion to do more to help.
No one I know gets into “human services” and working with individuals, families, and teachers for the “income.” We get into the work we do – with the passion we have – for the “outcome.”