I'm Lou. I'm Reece's mom. In 2014, we took Reece as a family to a Spelling Workshop in Atlanta. It was the first workshop ever held in Atlanta up until that point, he had been a non-speaking for 19 and a half years. So we were always told with the school system that he had about an intelligence level of 36 months old and that the way he reacted to certain things, he'd laugh at certain family jokes and stuff like that. So we within our family always kind of thought, Oh, there's more to this. He just seems smarter than they've always told us.
So we kept trying and kept working with him. We never really gave up the thought that he needed a little bit more. He has two older sisters that went on to graduate schools and we just kind of kept pushing, looking for what else can we do for him?
In 2014, we took him to a Spelling to Communicate Workshop. We were very lucky in that prior to doing that workshop, we had signed up or we were the first family that signed up. He did a lot of practicing with our home-based therapy. He amazed us all when the first thing he spelled when asked if he knew anything about astronomy was, Copernicus advocated that the earth revolves around the sun. We were actually astounded.
After that first Spelling to Communicate Workshop. We just never looked back. It took a couple, about few months we delved into it, we learned how to do that method ourselves. Through that process, once Reece started becoming fluent in spelling, he said, I have a vision, this is what I want to do. And he started giving us page after page of this vision that he had. I amassed a bunch of papers and long story short, we came up with what was basically a business plan.
So my husband and I kind of got together and said, let's do it. Let's just go ahead and see if what his vision is can actually work. We also had a huge team of awesome people behind us who encouraged us. We've been here about a year and a half and everything that he has developed, has basically proven to be just great for a lot of these kids.
Our whole thing is that we presume competence. Cause for so many years we were told that Reece did not have intelligence. Now what we're finding, and it's not just Reece, he's not an anomaly. We're finding that it's not that he's not intelligent it's that his body does not do what his brain wants it to do. And with the individualized help that we give them, these kids can go from having very limited body control to making that jump, to eventually being able to spell and even type to communicate.
Enduring 19 years unable to communicate, Reece imagined an unequalled and impelling center that would accept and connect autistics with others through collaboration and understanding. His greatest desire was to help others like himself grow to achieve their highest potential. Understanding that autistics needed a place to grow further in their capabilities, their influence in the community, and to feel comfortable challenging the assumption of incompetence placed on them by having bodies that refuse to comply with their minds, Reece let his dreams soar with possibilities. We are thrilled that in ReClif, we have created a place where inclusion for all is supported, and purposeful movement, brain neurotiming, and the health of our clientele is progressing. By offering state of the art services such as:
- Personalized Special-Fit Exercise Classes
- Interactive Metronome
- Individualized Therapeutic Yoga Practice
- Spelling to Communicate Coaching
- Music Therapy with the George Center
- Specialized Learning Seminars
- Family Recreational Outings
ReClif has been designed specifically for you and your family!
Find out more when you schedule a visit at ReClif by calling (678) 691-5426.
Read Reece’s Story in His Own Words
I am a 25-year-old non-verbal autistic who communicates via typing. For 19 years, I was trapped inside a nightmare, fully capable of understanding the world around me, yet unable to control my wayward body in order to transmit my thoughts. Blessed beyond belief by caring and supportive friends, professionals, aides, and family, I always had people around me who believed in me and encouraged me even as I struggled to help myself.
In November 2014, my family attended a communication workshop where I learned to harness my thoughts and purposefully connect to the letterboard. It is not as easy as it sounds, and there was much preparatory work involved, but that weekend my parents and supporters were stupefied and astounded as I literally hurdled the boundary from non-verbal to communicative! Although there was much work still ahead for me, it was at this time that I realized my dream of living a life that would mean so much more would be possible.
My greatest blessing is to be able to help others like myself grow to live a more purposeful life. As a founding member of the Every Voice Matters community in Atlanta, I have been amazed to watch our community of spellers grow to be one of the largest in the United States, dare I say even the World?!?! Specifically for non-speakers, garnering the ability to connect brain and body, and being able to coordinate the movements needed to spell our desires is quite frankly life changing. I am thrilled that at ReClif, we have created a place where that occurs often.
The importance of ReClif goes way beyond what I can explain in a paragraph. My mission is to change the conversation surrounding autism by empowering, accepting, supporting, and advocating for myself and others on the spectrum. Since 2017, I have been honored by amazing encouragement, humbled by support from friends near and far, and hungry to keep ReClif on an upward trajectory. I have been blessed to have made strong connections with so many incredible comrades during my life and hope to continue to influence the lives of others through our work at ReClif.
See for yourself how ReClif in Peachtree Corners is changing lives. Call us today at (678) 691-5426 to schedule a visit!