Elizabeth Angel Gardon
Spectrum of Joy
“Forgive the fact that your life is different. It’s different by design. Find the beauty in it. Love it for all that it is and all that it isn’t. It was made perfectly imperfect just for you. For this is where your true joy lies.”- Kim Pagano
These beautiful words are written by a my best friend from childhood, Kim Pagano. Kimmy and I hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in years but we recently reconnected and picked back up right where we left off.
We, of course, are no longer the same naive silly junior high girls playing schoolyard games against the boys and cheering on The Chicago Bulls, however, our souls still gravitate towards one another. And, although our life paths look drastically different our perspectives and passions are very much the same. I could not be more proud to share Kimmy’s journey and her Spectrum of Joy mentality.
She truly is remarkable and leading the charge for autism. It starts with loving herself and extending that love to her beautiful family. She is an inspiration to us all.
And, now more than ever, it is clear that life will hand us cards that we don’t expect and force us to deal with the unanticipated.
It is often times difficult to find joy in the unexpected and see the beauty in the unplanned. However, Kimmy sets the example of how to do this. She not only has found joy in the imperfectly perfect and but also happiness in a life that she never anticipated.
This is Kimmy’s story. She truly is a hero and it is an honor to celebrate her...
My journey as a special needs mom started when my son was diagnosed with autism. Like many parents, the diagnosis brought with it so much confusion, worry, and at times complete overwhelm. I was desperate for answers and eventually reached a point where I wanted nothing more than to turn my feelings of guilt and stress into feelings of joy. And thats exactly what I did.
I started to focus on who my child was despite the autism label and searched for ways to connect with him. I stopped blaming myself and let go of the resentment I felt towards the diagnosis. I looked inward and relied on my faith. I filled myself with knowledge about autism and searched for supports, treatments, and therapies that focused on what I felt was meaningful for my family.
As I began to find my own spectrum of joy, I decided that I wanted to start helping other parents do the same. Navigating a diagnosis and parenting a child that has autism takes resilience, but it does't have to steal your joy. Our children and our families are not defined by the label, and it is possible to live a life full of connection.
So, from my heart to yours... I am beyond excited to share my autism story! I hope others find a little spectrum of joy within their special needs parenting journey or whatever ride this life takes us on.
There is obviously good reason why Kimmy’s soul fuels mine: it’s her ability to find ways to rise up during difficult times, focus on the good, and celebrate life!
Therefore, I am humbled and honored to share that Kimmy came to me a few weeks ago with a very special request. She asked The Celebrate Company to help create a customized box for her clients to support her Spectrum of Joy mission.
Of course we jumped onboard right away and we are so grateful for the opportunity. We absolutely loved collaborating with her to design a box filled with information, resources and insights exclusively from Kim Pagano Master IEP Coach®️ that help families navigate through the complex and beautiful world of autism.
It has been so inspiring working with Kimmy and learning about her autism journey. Her passion, concern and mission to help others is truly a gift.
If anyone is looking for autism resources, information and support for yourself or your loved ones please be sure to check out the Spectrum of Joy Autism Resource Box and email Kim Pagano directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together We Can Spread a Spectrum of Joy and Celebrate Life...Because Our Life is Worth Celebrating!