SPECTRUM SPOTLIGHT: featuring Rashae
As a part of The Answer Inc’s Commitment to de-stigmatizing society’s opinion of persons with Autism & Other Developmental Disorders, SPECTRUM SPOTLIGHT was created to shine a light on exceptional Children and Young Adults everywhere - who, in-spite of obvious limitations, are ever committed to living their best life.
In this episode, Rashae’s Mom reminds us that sometimes, people come into our lives to bring us “The Answer That We Need” and if we are open to receiving, it might just change our life - or the life of someone that we love.
I hope her words below will inspire you… as we invite you to join the conversation, in the comments below.
My name is Charmaine Jones. I am a wife, a daughter, and a mother. I have a wonderful, understanding, supportive, and loving husband of eighteen years, and we have a blended family of four. I am also the youngest of four in an incredibly supportive family.
Where, when, and how this long journey began.
Here is my story and here is my cry. I have a young adult daughter, Rashae Tillman, who has been affected by developmental challenges, intellectual difficulties, and ADHD. On top of all these diagnoses, Rashae has had to overcome several obstacles, from having a NG feeding tube (during the very first year of her life) and back surgery to correct her severe scoliosis to just having to live her day-to-day life differently from a normal child. I was at that point in my life where I just kept asking “Why, why me? What did I do wrong in my life for my baby to be suffering with so many things?” My firstborn was perfect – nothing wrong, no complications – but my little one had to face many challenges. I’ve had innumerable sleepless nights where I simply cried, prayed, and tried to figure things out, wondering where Rashae’s life was headed. I truly didn’t understand my life. I didn’t understand the plan that God had for Sha; for us.
After struggling through her childhood and teen years, she became a young adult – with similar challenges, just older. Rashae was now an adult by age but not in mind – I now had different situations to deal with. Then we met Debra Vines, and I can say that she truly changed and added value to my baby girl’s life. My mother always said that God puts people in your life for many reasons and many seasons, and this was our season.
Debra and I met at my hair salon, where she used to bring Jason to get his hair cut by Chuck. Debra noticed right away that Sha had some development delays and asked if I would be open to allowing Sha to attend her Saturday university program, as it would be very beneficial to Sha. I’m glad to have seen sense in the idea; attending the program has helped Sha read, write, and develop better communication skills. Fast forward to today, I’m extremely proud of my baby girl, who has faced so many challenges and obstacles along the way, but who is now twenty-six years old and works part time at an IKEA warehouse. I love Sha so much and as I look back on our journey all I can say is but God. Thanks for the opportunity to share a piece our life journey with and for featuring my baby girl.
This episode of SPECTRUM SPOTLIGHT is brought to you by: THE “HONORING THE SPECTRUM” BALL.