Chalyn Coleman is a proud mom like the rest of us, but after her son with autism won first place in his elementary school's young authors contest, Coleman has even more to beam about. The second grader, who often writes books and shares stories with his classmates, was having trouble staying focused on writing his book for the contest but went on to win the contest thanks to his mom pushing him out of his comfort zone.
"I cant even begin to express how proud I am of Azure. . . . To think this moment almost didn't happen," Coleman shared on Facebook. "Many of you know that Azure is on the autism spectrum and it can be challenging at times. We started on his book writing process several times, but I just could not get him to focus. So I gave up and I told his teacher one morning that he decided not to do it. . . . Her look of disappointment and my feeling of guilt for giving up stuck with me all day."
After the encounter with Azure's teacher, Coleman reminded herself of what she once heard about not being afraid to push your child out of their comfort zone, so she found her patience and helped Azure to focus on his writing.
"His book, his story, his words, and his drawings was a labor of love and patience," Coleman said. "That proud smile on his face is absolutely everything. He earned that smile and I earned my proud tears. So next time I feel like throwing in the towel I'll remember his smile and just keep pushing forward. He can do anything he puts his mind to. Having autism is not a deterrent from greatness!"