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Polly

I have a 12-year-old daughter with autism. We have been on the journey since Polly's diagnosis at the age of 2. Her being non-verbal is an everyday struggle as she tries to communicate using her tablet but not being able to fully express what's on her mind and in her heart. I long for the day that she will say, "I love you, Mommy," and most of the time, that hope fades. Now that she is a pre-teen, her emotions are extremes and can leave us all exhausted. In the last ten years, I've learned that being empowered as her mother is what will continue to move us forward in the journey. I got empowered in my friendships, which led to us forming a support group called Moms Helping Moms. I'm motivated to spreading inclusion in the community as a parent coordinator for E-Soccer (Exceptional Children Soccer). Most of all, I'm empowered in my faith as I am able to grow spiritually by attending Sunday service while my daughter attends a Spiritual Resource Class catered to special needs children. Autism has taught me that I am not alone in this journey, and therefore, my child is not going to grow up alone.