Alabamians come together to give girl with autism a memorable birthday
Tuesday, Dr. Julian Maha of Birmingham posted a touching video on Facebook outlining the story of an Alabama girl with autism who had never experienced a birthday.
Amy, the birthday girl, grew up in the foster care system, going without presents, parties, or celebrations with family or friends.
After being contacted by Amy’s mom, the Alabama bakery’s owners knew that they wanted to throw the first birthday party for the little girl, who was turning thirteen. And that is exactly what they did.
“In talking with her mom, and learning more about Amy and how special she is, it just really spoke to our hearts,” said Elizabeth Brasfield, one of the owners, in the video below.
KultureCity’s story is amazing in itself. Founded by Maha and his wife, who were both doctors working for UAB at the time they discovered their child was on the autism spectrum, this groundbreaking Alabama organization is working to make a real change for people living with special needs.
On KultureCity’s website, Maha shares his son’s powerful story and outlines the movement that this Alabama family inspired.
“One day, I was at the barber’s, alone with my son dealing with the full force of his meltdown,” he says. “The kicking was one thing but the screaming was piercing and at the top of his lungs.”
“He was upset because he was getting his haircut,” Maha continues. “Months later, I would find out that the sensation of hair falling down on his shoulders were akin to multiple paper cuts all at once.”
In the middle of this, seemingly from out of the blue, a woman grabs his son and shakes him.
“DON’T YOU KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD?!?,” she yells at Maha. At that moment, Maha says he had a stark realization.
“What we as a community needed was not awareness but acceptance,” he professes. “You see, there is a fundamental difference between awareness and acceptance. Awareness always gives you an out. Acceptance does not.”
The Mahas, and KultureCity, are touching lives one family at a time. And their good work is not going unnoticed.
They even have their own TED Talk, which can be viewed here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn