Betty Ray Shaw explained to us that children of autism have their own agenda, and when they get something in their mind that they want to, or think they need to do, that’s what they are going to do.
For her 13-year-old grandson, Jajuan Shaw, that agenda seems to be winning. Winning at being a kind grandson; winning at being a star speller; winning at being whatever is typically associated with a so-called normal child; and winning at swimming against the top special athletes from the state of Georgia.
Jajuan Shaw, as described in our June 6 edition, currently on covnews.com, crossed the finish line first in the 25- and 50-meter swims at the Special Olympics State Summer Games held at Atlanta’s Emory University recently. But this young man does not seem to be done winning.
Any words to the contrary could have been scrapped in 2011. That’s when Jajuan had a column published where he stated in his own words “God has blessed me with so much and my autism will not hold me back.”
Fast forward 2 and a half years, and he has delivered. Jajuan Shaw has had an agenda — to not let his disability hinder him — and he has stuck to it.
For that he is a hero we can look up to.
There is no need to let our perceived lack of abilities, gender, race, economic struggles, etc. hold us back.
Like Jajuan Shaw, let’s take things one paddle, one step and one day at a time, listening and learning, but getting to where we want to be.