I'm often asked what my goal is for kiddos and families I have the pleasure of knowing- what would the best outcome be? It's always a tough question, and my best answer is their potential... because that's the pinnacle for us all. There's always going to be obstacles in our lives, but to have the skills to navigate them, own them, know them allows you to reach for your unique potential.
I've had the amazing luckiness of knowing of Sam Berns, his family and his awe inspiring story for quite some time. And it comes as no surprise to me, that in his seventeen years Sam had all the right words to embody what I think we all wish for ourselves, and for individuals we know with extraordinary obstacles in their path- as Sam certainly had. He so beautifully embodies what person first language looks like in person and practice. Sam is Sam... and he had Progeria.
Late last week he passed away due to complications from Progeria, a very rare genetic condition. And yet his amazing spirit will live on through all of us who strive to reach our potential, navigate around our obstacles and continually look forward... and with the right mindset... so much is possible.
"My approach to intervention is rooted in respect for child development and focuses on making the mundane meaningful, looking at daily interactions as opportunities for learning and growth while respecting the uniqueness of the individual and family. It’s about setting high expectations for long term quality of life and relationships for individuals on the spectrum and implementing a specific and doable plan to get there one step at a time.”
– Lauren Wilson, LCSW, RDI® Program Certified Consultant