AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Obstacles in life, whether small or serious, are virtually guaranteed.
"To the one creator, thank you for today."
My new friend Robert Chancellor is a poet. During our recent visit, I learned that he is also an artist, volunteers in his community, and - like me - has an interest in weather. But, unlike me, Robert lives with the challenge of autism.
"Well, with autism, the technical definition I have adapted goes into basically saying that autism is a mental condition detected in early childhood categorized by lack of understanding of social skills and lack of understanding of abstract concepts," said Robert.
"He was interacting differently with kids some and relationships were a little different," said Robert's mother Kathy Chancellor.
"That is where we were starting to notice it more than anything else was with social skills," said Robert's father Larry Chancellor.
"Well, let's take this example," said Robert. "You're at a rock concert. You see the drummer - you see the band come up on stage and the drummer picks up the sticks and goes 'one, two, three four and crashes the cymbals.
The band starts rocking, the lights start flashing, the crowd gets overly energetic, you can feel the body heat of the people around you, you can see the lights, you can hear the band, you can smell the food or whatever may be in the room. Now imagine that compounded times 10. That's something similar to what an autistic person will view."
"And we also found out he has some sensory issues which affects his reading, his comprehension, sometimes his communication," said Kathy.
Robert has met the challenge of communication and has a message of encouragement for others with autism.
"To those with autism hear these words I say," said Robert. "To those with autism , we may not be broken but we may need help along the way. To those with autism, know that today there is hope. To those with autism, keep fighting the tug of war battle and hold on to that rope. Thank you.
Well, the good news that I have to say is, well one of the things is God made you the way you are for a reason. I'm made autistic. I believe He made me this way to help people like me to reach their full potential. There is one more point to that, even though your child has autism, or any child who has autism, they will still live an incredible life."
Now that's good news indeed.