What a Difference a Year Makes!

imageWe’re spending this week in Pittsburgh for the Autism Society of America National conference.

Last year, we were in Pittsburgh every other week battling a patent infringement lawsuit. We spent countless hours with attorneys (well not really countless…someone was counting) and were scared to death to step into the exhibit hall of ISAAC 2012 for fear of an uncomfortable confrontation. (It actually happened, so our fears were legitimate). We met with our attorneys frequently, and fortunately, it was a positive experience. Not only did the attorneys care about us, they cared about the individuals who were nonverbal and using Speak for Yourself. Seriously. What more could we ask for?

This year we set up our booth in about half an hour, after meeting our former attorney to “catch up” because, well, now we are friends. What better definition of a friend can you think of other than someone who lifts you up when you feel like you are weak? We talked about our family and his family and we hugged as we left, knowing our paths will cross again soon in a very pleasant and happy reunion. What a difference a year makes!

This year, we are planning for our future and the futures of people who are nonverbal who do not yet know that they will be glad to have met us. We are at the autism conference listening to the people who years ago, were unable to speak for themselves, but now, are self-advocates. They are speaking for themselves…loud and clear! We can only dream that this will be the case for our little clients. We would be so ecstatic to have the little ones we work with stand at a booth at a national conference in 20 years and say to two speech language pathologists who they have never met before , ” I am myself, unapologetically. ” What more could we ask for?

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