Autism Advocacy

My mom is the best! Happy Birthday, Mom!

Hi everyone.  Today is my mom’s birthday and I want to celebrate her publicly in a way that I know she won’t be happy with.  Sorry, Mom, but I want the world to know what you mean to me. 

I can’t imagine what it is like to find out as a young mother that your child is going to have a lifelong disability. I’m sure that my mom’s first reaction and desire was for God to give it to her instead.  But, that wasn’t His plan.  

Her second reaction, I know, was to fix it, to find the cure.   She dove into that effort head first and full-time.   The hours of study, training, and work that she sacrificed were incalculable.  Everything from starting a full-time ABA program in our home to multiple diet changes to supplement research to medications.  She left no stone unturned, and still, God had a different plan for me.  Not to say that any of that was wasted effort, but I still am living with autism. 

The most important thing that my mom did for me was to love me unconditionally.  Through it all, I always knew that my mom would be there, fighting for me with everything that she had—not because she needed me to be different but because she wanted me to be happy.  

Today, I want my mom to know that my happiness is God’s plan also and thanks to her and my dad, I am happy.   I wish that there were things about my life that were different. I don’t love my disability.  But I know that God gave it to me for a reason.  And I am so blessed that He also helped us find a way for me to communicate, because now I can do what I have always wanted the most: to make a difference somehow in someone else’s life by using my gifts and my strengths. What a blessing that is.   I believe that is what God wants for all of us and often it is the challenges that He gives that allow us to do just that. 

So, Mom, today on your birthday, just rest.  And know that you are the perfect mom for me and that you did everything right.  You were always there, you always showed love, you always protected, you taught me about God, you stimulated my mind and taught me how to learn in my own way, and you helped me find a way to express myself.   It’s all I could have ever asked for.   I love you.



  • Kelly Mendiola


    What a magnificent tribute to your remarkable mom. This is the best gift any parent could ever receive. And thank you for sharing your insights about life with the rest of us. I feel stronger for your words.

    With Admiration,
    Kelly Mendiola

  • Julie Gilliland

    Aaron, I can’t love this enough! I always enjoy listening to your YouTube videos and what you post on Facebook. My son is 5 and Was diagnosed at 16 mo. ASD. You have helped me so much. I admire your mom she sounds like she has fought for you in any and every way possible. I have tried to do the same for my son John Knox!

  • Don Jepson

    Aaron, you bring tears to my eyes. You express the things we all need to hear, and with deep insight. We just spent 12 days in your home and you were smiling the whole time. We love the person you are.
    Grandpa and Grandma

  • Melanie Walthall

    Aaron, you just made your Mom’s heart fill up to overflowing. That’s the best possible gift you can give her. And I agree with everything you said about her too!

  • Suzette Selden

    Hi Aaron,

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She is absolutely amazing. And I’m so proud of you and the man you have become. Thank you for sharing your insight. It strengthens me.

    Suzette Selden

  • John Irving

    Aaron. Such an inspiring tribute to your mother … and to you. You inspired me to write to my mother and thank her for the many years of love and patience and never giving up … yes, your grandmother is not with us anymore but I don’t think that matters. Her love for me and my love for her continues. How should I start … Dear mom …

    Aaron, I’ll share my letter with you when it’s finished. Your Uncle John

  • Elizabeth Downing

    Hi Aaron,
    I am your dad’s aunt, your grandpa Jepson’s sister. I have been following along in great interest your entire life and I just want you to know that you have a huge sphere of influence for good in this world and that you bring light and joy to an otherwise darkening and dreary world. Thank you! and God bless you!

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