Me, Myself And I - One Girl's Triumph Over Autism

Last Update: January 13, 2013
Her name was Yung Ha Lee. She was born in Korea with severe facial deformities due to a Cleft Lip and Palate. Her birthparents did not the have the means to pay for corrective surgeries and could not deal with societal taboos that a child like this would raise in their village. The girl was placed for adoption and found a family in the US.

Yung Ha literally translated from Korean means "Summer Glory", and how appropos for a child born in August! Her young life soon changed for the better, as Mom decorated her new room and made homemade baby food for her. Her family called her Summer. Two facial surgeries were successfully done, and she completely won over the heart of her Grandparents. Life was pretty sweet!

One Day Everthing Changed

At 2 years of age, Summer was diagnosed with Autism. Her new family was stunned, they knew a Special Needs adoption might be challenging, but Autism was frightening! The doctors said she would never speak, become potty trained, or have any meaningful relationships. School would be difficult as she was also Developmentally Delayed. Her mom used hundreds of flashcards helping to entice her to speak. Special Ed Class was attended at school, following by years of Speech and Occupational Therapy, and three additional surgeries. Autistic kids can have amazing temper tantrums, and there were many nights of tears on both sides. She began to read, relate to others, and participate in the school drama class play. There was a glimmer of hope!

Summer is now 22 , she reads, writes and is computer literate on a Mac or PC. (Her iPad is her constant companion) She can cook simple microwave meals, takes care of her dog and is able spend a weekend on her own when her Mom is out of town! Fascinated with a certain brand of high end designer handbags, she frequented the store, making connections, and becoming the store "mascot". Upon graduation from Special High School, she took her fascination and ran with it. She now works in this store, and calls it her "Dream Job". I am blessed to know this lovely young lady, and even luckier that she is my daughter!

Life is not easy at times, but dreams can come true, and strength does come from adversity. I know this for a fact. I would not be the person that I am today, if it not for Summer being in my life!

Always Believe ...... And Never Give Up!

Sammi:)

For more information about Autism, please contact www.autismspeaks.org
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kathyjf1530 Premium
Thank you for sharing your's and Summer's story. This is something that is very close to my heart.
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sammikay Premium
Kathy, I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. I hope and pray for an effective treatment for this life changing condition!

Sammi:)
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kathyjf1530 Premium
Yes I am praying for the very same.
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sammikay Premium
Amen Sister!
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Hudson Premium
A truly inspirational post. To say you must be proud is a very big understatement, and you deservedly should be. The book idea would be wonderful, if you need help.....
Give yourself and Summer a big hug, you both deserve one,
Regards
Hudson
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sammikay Premium
Thanks Hudson...... I appreciate your kind words! BTW- Summer enjoyed her story too:)

Sammi
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Great post. I am well aware of how big the obstacles are that you and Summer have overcome as autism has touched my family. You are obviously a determined and loving mom.
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sammikay Premium
Many Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Autism has touched many lives, and Summer still has a ways to go. It is my prayer that other families can see hope from her story.

Sammi:)
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David (IMR) Premium
Well Get started...LOL I would love to read it..
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David (IMR) Premium
Beautiful Post, I notice you only have the one link in This post.. Have you though of making this an Article, and possibly adding links to say books or flashcards... I know one thing I really do not know much about Autism, I am certain you could a guide on how you learnt to deal with the stresses of daily life at home bringing Summer up as a Child..
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sammikay Premium
David, Thanks for reading!! Yes- There is enough material to write a book, or coach others on my Behavior Modification Techniques used with Summer:) I would love to help other Single Mom's or families dealing with this!

Sammi:)
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David (IMR) Premium
I can see it working out, as it is not just something your passionate about, but living and learning everyday.
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sammikay Premium
I appreciate your vote of condidence, a book has always been secretly in the back of my mind:)
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