By Erin LaVine, Manager of Camping

Everyone knows how quickly viral news stories can spread awareness. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Light it Up Blue for Autism campaign and the Polar Plunge are just a few examples of how people are using social channels to affect change and awareness. I’m not sure if it’s because I follow a lot of amazing parents, caregivers, service providers and educators, but in the past two weeks my social media has been filled with amazing stories about individuals with differabilities and their families achieving new heights. Below are thoughts on my three favorite viral stories.

First, my heart was burst into at least 3 million parts when I saw the video of Atticus hitting the skate park with his dad. Atticus is a young gentleman who has Cerebral Palsy, he utilizes a wheelchair and he is a cutie! His mother explained in a blog that after seeing a dad pushing his child in wheelchair at a skate park, her family dropped everything and went to do the same. I mean, how cool is that? Make sure you watch the video to the very end, Atticus’s reaction is priceless!

Later in the week while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a wonderful series of photos Glenn Gameson-Burrows has taken to help the public better understand his daughter and other people on the Autism Spectrum. His photos showcase the calm and sometimes tumultuous behaviors of a handful of children and two adults. If you just saw these pictures, there would be no way of knowing these individuals had ASD and that’s the point. The photographer wants us to be less judgmental. He wants us to give the parents of the screaming child at the grocery store a look of understanding instead of a scowl.
Check out the Facebook page here.

Lastly, I saw a video on the Upworthy that filled me with love. Bill, father to Chris, an induvial with very complex and severe disabilities, explains how even after everyone gave up on Chris, he couldn’t. He and his wife studied everything they could find to teach Chris and it ultimately led to his ability to attend a high school. I could literally go on and on about how touched I was by this father’s love for his son… but I am just going to recommend you watch it. It is truly beautiful display of love.