Katy Perry sang "Firework" with one of her biggest fans, a girl with autism named Jodi DiPiazza. And that is what made me cry.
The story from the parents at the beginning of this video could be any one of us talking about our child. That parent is you. That parent is me. That little girl is my child, and she's your child.
Her dad talked about getting his daughter into a specialized school, and that things changed for her as a result. This is the very problem that so many of us have with our children on the spectrum. Access to proper care. Getting insurance to cover needed therapies and treatments. It's an uphill battle for almost all of us. But, Jodi is proof that when a child with autism is able to access what is needed, a life can change for the better. Not only for her, but for her family.
Jodi's mom said, "It's been difficult. Hard. But, it's amazing how far she's come." I know exactly how she feels. My boys are proof that progress can happen with autism.
If you haven't yet seen the video, settle in for about 8 minutes. You may want to grab a tissue, too.