When we reflect on our lives, there are often pivotal moments and individuals who leave an indelible mark. For Amy, that transformative moment came when she entered the lives of the Roof family, forever changing the trajectory of each other's lives.
A Chance Encounter
"My name is Kristie Roof, and Amy was a college student who worked with our son Joshua as a part of our ABA program," Kristie recalls. Their journey together began when Kristie needed to hire another therapist and put up an ad around the PLU campus. Little did she know that this decision would lead to a remarkable connection between Amy and Joshua.
Joshua was a 4 1/2-year-old boy facing the daily challenges of autism. The Roof family had initiated an ABA program for Joshua when he was just three years old, but it soon became clear that they needed someone special to guide them on this journey.
When they met, Amy quickly developed an unparalleled bond with Joshua. "Amy was a gift to our family and made the biggest impact of any therapist we worked with," Kristie remarks, “I loved watching her observe Joshua. She would just sit and stare for several minutes and then come up with a new technique we could try out for the current behavior issue or challenge we were working on.” Amy's ability to keenly observe and understand the needs of children like Joshua was nothing short of remarkable.
A Lifelong Impact
Twenty-five years have passed since Amy first entered their lives, yet the connection remains strong. The Roof family still keeps in touch with Amy and dreams of someday having Joshua visit her at Spectra Centers in Colorado. In the hearts of the Roof family, Amy isn't just a former therapist—she's family.
Amy was equally impacted by her time with Joshua. Her work with him set the vision for Spectra Centers and the Interdisciplinary Intervention Model that is used today.
A Life Transformed
Today, Joshua is 30 years old and leading a fulfilling life. He works part-time at a local hotel managing the laundry, where he has been for over seven years. In his role, he touches the hearts of the hotel staff with warm greetings and cheerful demeanor. Although he doesn't drive, he uses a shuttle service to get to work.
Joshua is actively involved in Special Olympics, participating in various sports year-round. He's also a part of a community called L'Arche, which further enriches his life. Moreover, Joshua's progress extends to his involvement in church activities, especially singing.
A Message of Hope
To parents facing similar challenges, Kristie offers heartfelt encouragement: "NEVER give up, your child's potential depends on YOU being the advocate for them." She knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of raising a child with autism but firmly believes that unwavering determination and advocacy can pave the way for remarkable transformations.
The story of Joshua and Amy serves as a testament to the profound impact one person can have on the lives of others. It is a reminder that love, dedication, and unwavering support can break down barriers and lead to extraordinary transformations. Joshua's life is a testament to the power of hope and the boundless potential within us all.