She proved them all wrong in a very big way. Twenty-three years ago Amanda Propheter‘s parents were told that their daughter’s future would be bleak. At the age of two, she was diagnosed as being severely and profoundly mentally delayed. Her parents were told that Amanda also had poor muscle tone, which would prevent her from participating in physical activities, and that she’d never be able to speak more than a few words. Now at the age of 25, the Geneva resident is a friendly, composed, and articulate young woman who works at a retirement community, competes in Special Olympics, and loves doing community service.
Amanda has pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), an autism spectrum disorder. Lots of therapy, both traditional and non-traditional, along with encouragement and support from family, friends, schools, and her employer, paid off.
Ironically, all of this is referred to in the speech that Amanda wrote and delivered at the Miss Amazing competition at the end of April. The event, which is for girls with mental and/or physical disabilities, is run much like any other pageant, including an evening dress showing and a talent presentation. Amanda’s talent demonstration will be delivering her speech “I Have a Voice” which proves all of her naysayers wrong.
Amanda has successfully been employed at a job she loves. GreenFields of Geneva, a retirement community near her home, hired her as a dishwasher when it first opened its doors three years ago. “The job was really intense and GreenFields worked with us trying to carve out the perfect niche for Amanda,” said her mother, Chris Propheter. Amanda is now a dining room server for residents in assisted living. “She loves interacting with the residents and they love her,” said Chris.
A sports lover, Amanda said that she has collected many medals from Special Olympics competitions.
“I love community service because it keeps me out of trouble, and keeps me from just doing nothing,” said Amanda. Because she loves seniors, she volunteers at a retirement community. “Older adult have lots of wisdom. They’ve had ups and downs in their lives and there’s a lot I can learn from them,” she said.
In entering the Miss Amazing competition, Amanda said, “I would like to be ‘that voice’ for all those young women who have anyone tell them, ‘you will never do this,’ to know that you can do anything you want with faith, hard work, and determination.” She added, “I’ve learned to push through what is tough for me to learn.”
Amanda said that she’d like to be a role model for other people with challenges. “I will put everything I’ve accomplished into really good use. I want to give other people the motivation to do their personal best,” she said
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