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Thank You to Dave Ramsey for Meeting My Son With Autism

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Dear Dave Ramsey,

We stopped by Ramsey Solutions recently while we were in Nashville for the Teach Them Diligently Conference. You see, my child with autism is a big fan. Logan listens to your radio show on a daily basis via YouTube on his Xbox One. I don’t know how familiar you are with autism. When my son gets interested in something, he gets hyper-focused on it. It started a few years ago when I required him to take Financial Peace for Teens as his economic course in high school.

My son with autism love rules. You give him rules to live a financially sound life. For him, it’s cut and dry. Stay out of debt, be generous while being a good steward of what God has entrusted you and pay for everything with cash. It’s simple and wise counsel that he’ll be able to live by with great success.

We decided to stop by to see the radio show as soon as I discovered it was an option. I wasn’t sure how crowded it would be or if he would be able to handle not being able to meet you if that wasn’t an option. I decided to take a chance knowing full well we may have to leave if it was too much for him. Since it was only 30 minutes from the Gaylord Opryland where we were staying, I was willing to take said chance.

We arrived 45 minutes early. I wanted Logan to be able to see everything he wanted in case we would have to leave early due to his sensory issues. It’s my job to set him up to experience things as best he can with the limitations he has.

First, your building has the nicest bathrooms we have ever had the fortune to visit. Seriously, even my typical girl checked it out more than once. I also appreciated the low lighting and ambiance that helped keep the sensory input to a minimum for my son. Yes, things like that really make a difference. We also look for places like that in the unlikely event that we need to make a quick exit to calm him.

What I didn’t expect was how incredibly caring and nice your staff would be to make our visit a success. The receptionist answered our questions promptly. We were able to look through the bookstore at our leisure. There were cookies available (we didn’t partake because we’re on a gluten-free diet) as well as a sweet lady who made us coffee and tea. 

Then the lobby filled up quickly with people who I presumed had been there for a class. They all had name tags and bought books for you to sign. Logan wanted to sit on the couch to watch you up close, but it was simply too much. The couch as well as the tables had filled up. The lobby was abuzz with chatter.

We retreated to the bookstore where there was safety, calm and a place to sit away from the crowd. Thank you for the two big screens broadcasting your show so my boy could still see it. Thank you for the comfortable seats by the window. Thank you for the sweet lady who checked in on us to make sure everything was OK. Thank you for having an area to retreat away from the crowd. You might not have planned it that way, but I believe God most certainly did.

When you came out on the first break, I thought we were goners. See, Logan really wanted to meet you. He really wanted an autograph. He had questions to ask you. But it was all too much. I about cried when a very nice lady from the aforementioned class let us in line in front of her. I managed to keep him calm in line by rubbing his back. I silently prayed that our turn would come before you had to go back to your show.

Our turn did come before you had to return to your show. At that moment, I saw my boy swallow his fears, step forward, shake your hand then pose for a picture. As he hastily retreated to the bookstore to compose himself, you asked him a question that I had to answer for him. I’m sure I looked like an overprotective mother who speaks for her child. But at that moment, my child couldn’t speak because he was over the moon to meet his hero. It was all too much for him to process at once. So much so that he never got an autograph. He wasn’t able to hang on until the second break so we left accordingly.

Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for meeting my son. Thank you for shaking his hand. Thank you for attempting to engage him in a conversation. Thank you for posing for a picture with him then not making a big deal out of it when he jumped ship immediately.  

It might have seemed odd to you, but you handled it with grace. My son may not be able to do everything he dreams of in his life. He’s limited by his autism in some ways. Our family will treasure that memory for the rest of our lives. Thank you from the bottom of this mama’s heart.

Follow this journey here.

Originally published: August 17, 2016
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