From that point, turning the car around, the Tuohy family takes in Mr. Oher as one of their own, takes criticism from others for doing so, but in the end helps this young man succeed at life in high school, then on to college, then become a first round pick in the NFL. Do you think this may be a fairy tale? Well, it’s certainly not, it’s real life. Mr. Oher is a real man who went through a real dark time in life before someone said, “turn the car around”. Mr. Oher now plays football for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and has succeeded all because Leigh Anne Tuohy had enough compassion in her heart to help a young man who didn’t ask for help. This is truly an inspirational movie and I suggest that everyone, if you have not seen it, pick it up, research this young man’s story and consider if you would “turn the car around.”
Now, many of you may be saying, “what does this have to do with autism?” I’m here to tell you, a lot. To the chagrin of my lovely bride, I am a sports nut. I follow these stories because it takes the impersonal, super hero personal many athletes portray to a very human level. It helps to understand that these men and women are just like us, face challenges, disappointment, etc. just like all of us. The only difference, when they go to work they get millions to play a game. But in our lives, autism requires advocates. It is not a, “well, when I get to it” proposition, it is a MUST have. We meet with the school to go over IEP’s, we talk to our doctors about what other therapies are available that could help our child with coping with autism. We as parents are in a constant of advocating for our children. Michael Oher really had no advocate. He had people who would give him occasional shelter, but like many inner city kids, had no one to represent them in their time of need. Michael Oher had no one to ensure that the basic need of an education was even obtainable. That is until Leigh Anne Tuohy entered his life.
My point of all this is to ask are you willing to “turn the car around”? Are you willing to help fill a void in someone’s life by simply getting involved? There are so many kids out there who are in a state of wondering around, if not in the streets, in their minds. They find themselves in a state of confusion, a state of anxiety, a state of being alone. Much like Mr. Oher, simply in need of someone to call a family, an advocate, a friend. I ask you to consider “turning the car around” when you see someone in need and be their advocate.