Tammy’s Story

My name is Tammy Vice and I want to share with you what Autism Tennessee means to me.

I’ve always said when I asked God for patience and flexibility, He gave me Allison and Morgan, two beautiful daughters.  Our youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism at age three.   The year was 1997.  We were searching for answers in all directions, feeling pretty overwhelmed.  As I look back now, I realize, it was the small acts of kindness from caring people that brought about the most significant changes for our family.  I call them “Angels Unaware”.

Let me introduce you to a few of them.  Beth Neilson Chapman was doing a workshop in our town.  I attended, thinking it was a songwriting seminar.  As it turned out, she was speaking on the stages of grief, when you lose a loved one.  What she described was everything I had been feeling after our daughter’s diagnosis.  When I confided this to her, Beth took the time to connect me to a friend of hers, Laura Lloyd, who started Autism Tennessee.  Laura took the time to listen, and connected me with Autism Tennessee’s parent rep, Carolyn Shindler.  Carolyn listened, offered our family a wealth of information, and even gave us a tour of her community.  I still chuckle when I remember Carolyn’s son greeting my husband for the first time, shaking his hand and saying, “Hello. You’re bald!”  I think it was then, we knew we were going to feel at home here in Tennessee.

There are many others we’ve connected with through Autism Tennessee and their support network.  Since moving to the area in May of 1999, I’ve volunteered, served on the board, worked as a parent rep, and now serve as a county contact.  Our family is thankful to be a part of Autism Tennessee’s family.52-blue-mondays-book-cover-print

We are so thankful that when we put together “52 Blue Mondays” we decided to give a portion of every sale back to Autism Tennessee. Morgan has an unfiltered way of stating what’s on her mind so this book may give your family a few smiles, and some encouragement to get through those less than perfect days. You can get the book by clicking here.

All that said, I’ve logged a lot of mom miles.  Some of the things I thought would be my biggest trials have turned out to be my greatest blessings.  Allison and Morgan are still teaching me.  I share what I’m learning on our family’s monthly “Know The Hope” Blog.  https://tbvice.wordpress.com/  http://knowthehopeinc.com/


    David Buckman | January 4, 2016 at 5:11 am

    And the ripples of blessing continue… It was through Tammy that our family became aware of the resources available through the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt and Autism TN shortly after our adult daughter Jeanne was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s at approximately age 30. It has been an incredible journey for Jeanne and her mother Dorothy and myself… for Jeanne in terms of self-understanding and how best to utilize her unique strengths leading very soon to sustainable employment utilizing her nursing skills; for her mother and myself understanding how many seemingly unrelated qualities, events and experiences fit into a bigger picture. We are amazed and truly in awe of the perseverance and resilience of our amazing,tender-hearted,loving beautiful daughter! We thank the Good Lord and all of you for the story that is still being written in our hearts and lives.

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