What do you like best about animals? Do you have a special relationship with them? An amazing young man named Jory Fleming does. I’ll bet you’re wondering what makes Jory exceptional. For one thing, he’s one of the thirty-two young people to win a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. That single fact is extraordinary in itself, but Jory has autism. He loves animals. In fact, he could create wonderful animal stories for kids if it chose to. You may know children with autism have trouble communicating. He was homeschooled by his mom, who admits she tried many things to help Jory progress. Mrs. Fleming states, “Some things worked while others didn’t.
Jory loves animals. In fact, it was his parakeet who helped him learn communication skills. During a recent TV interview, Jory said his bird helped him learn to relate to others because “They don’t talk and sometimes I’d rather not talk either. This amazing young man also has a service dog named Daisy. In addition to autism, Jory uses a feeding tube and wears braces, due to genetic disorders. Can you imagine overcoming all of these obstacles and earning the honor of studying at Oxford? He will be studying Geography and Marine Sciences.
How did Jory react when he found out he won the scholarship? He said he “Thought they called the wrong person.”Are you wondering how Jory manages to maintain a 4.0-grade average? He said his “photographic memory” allows him to see everything he read on the page. How remarkable is that?
If you’re a fan of stories about beating the odds, consider checking out my autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier. This animal story for kids won several awards and recognitions. Like Jory, I set out to beat the odds, with the help of my family. You’ll find out the key to success, in my view. Whether you like writing animal stories for kids, or reading them, be sure to follow your dreams because “You have the power to make your dreams come true, so reach for them and don’t accept anything less!”
copyright 2017: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
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