April is Autism Awareness Month, and today is World Autism Awareness Day. Over the past several years, April 2 has become as important as any major holiday in the Rea household.
It’s a day to celebrate how much we’ve learned, the unique ways people’s gifts can be packaged, and how our family has been inspired to do more.
Three Aprils ago, I shared with the entire Rx Savings Solutions team the story of Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who possesses profound intelligence and an ability to see the world in a way that others can’t. Grandin’s gifts have helped bring about transformational change to a major industry. At times that morning, I struggled with the words and had to pause and collect myself.
My wife and I have three amazing children, including a son with significant autism. Brody is an otherwise healthy, fun, loving 9-year-old who loves to be around people. He does, however, struggle with cognition and communication, which creates some significant barriers in his life. With the exception of one-word answers or short phrases, he cannot effectively communicate with his peers or adult caregivers.
When I think about Brody’s difficulties, like any parent, caregiver or loved one, I want to solve that problem. The reality is, I can’t. Despite my best efforts to do so (and I will always continue trying), I’m not even remotely as skilled as those who have trained their entire lives to diagnose, treat, teach or advocate for kids like Brody. Our family depends on experts in their respective areas to be part of our team. They include some fantastic individuals we’re lucky to know – but no matter how many times we tell them, they’ll never realize how important they are to us.
As I ponder how to make the biggest contribution to society with the skillset I have, Brody is always on my mind. I’ve come to believe that if I can channel my energy, drive and passion for helping him into the mission of our company, it will maximize the impact I can make. He continues to teach me compassion, empathy and persistence. He helps me to do what I’m best at, to contribute to helping the most people, and in turn find Brody the team members and advocates he needs to channel his gifts and reach his highest potential throughout life.
I buy into this idea more every day: We all need an advocate. For challenges we can’t conquer on our own. For too many people out there, that struggle is how to pay for the prescription drugs they need to keep them alive, healthy, productive and financially stable. Improving their lives is our North Star, and we’ll always aim our team’s unique gifts and collective talents in that direction.
We all may be working from home, but the Rx Savings team can still represent.
Light it Up, Blue!