Surviving the Valleys

Scott Wilson of Edmonton, AB, is a fighter. More than 15 years ago, amid an overwhelming work schedule and a child’s heartbreaking illness, he left his corporate job and joined Primerica. While his wife worked full-time as a dental assistant, Scott was working 60-hour weeks before Primerica came along. He decided to start a business. He could make calls while his son napped during the day and he could go on appointments in the evenings, when his wife was home. It sounded like the perfect plan, until the Wilsons realized that their son wasn’t like other children.

The boy lasted just 10 days in daycare. He sat in the corner all alone, not interacting with the other children at all. It was the first sign that something was amiss with his development. Scott took extra care to make sure his son’s special needs were being met, but it wasn’t until a few years later that he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It changed the course of Scott’s life forever.

The challenges of rearing a child with this developmental disability were remarkable. He needed constant attention and, since Scott had the flexibility that comes with being your own boss, the daytime responsibility fell to him. Caring for their son was a full-time job. Scott recalls, “Most children learn through incidental experience but, in our son’s case, we had to be intentional about every learning outcome. The more time I spent with him, the better he did. Left to his own devices, he’d quickly regress. Because I was able to be present with my son, he was able to teach me what he needed.”

Just two short years after their son’s diagnosis, a daughter was born, and the Wilsons were ecstatic. Sadly, the daughter would soon be diagnosed with autism, as well, and would exhibit more severe signs than her brother did. But Scott and his wife Lynn were there.

“I was able to bring the children home from school every day for lunch so they could get a break from the chaos that the playground is to a child with autism. I shudder to think where my children would be today had I continued to work 60 hours a week. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to provide them with the attention they needed,” Scott argues.

“Primerica is the only place where you get support even while you’re going through a valley. Some valleys are deeper than others, but that doesn’t matter here. If you keep plodding through, Primerica will be waiting.”

Something Bigger Than Themselves
Over the years, Scott and Lynn have become staunch advocates for issues relating to children with disabilities. They helped create a martial arts class for children with autism. It’s taught by an occupational therapist who has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. The class began with eight children. It now boasts more than 40.

When Scott saw that his son was struggling socially in the seventh grade, he mobilized a social skills pilot project and saw the funding come into place for his son’s eighth- and ninth-grade years, too.

Because of the flexibility and freedom that having a Primerica business gave him, Scott was instrumental in guiding the government of Alberta on Bill 23: The Family Supports for Children with Disabilities Act. Since 2007, he’s been appointed to sit on two advisory boards that have guided the Minister of Children’s Services on issues relating to children’s disabilities.

Now, the boy who needed constant care gets himself out of bed and to the city bus on time. He makes it to his high school classes and back home again with ease. The intensive therapies that the Wilsons had the time and freedom to provide their children have made all the difference in their lives … and the lives of countless other children with developmental disabilities.

The Primerica Story
Scott says he’s not the poster boy for the Primerica business opportunity. He hasn’t grown a big business or made all of the money he’d hoped to make … yet; but, Scott couldn’t be more wrong. His story is the Primerica story. Because of this company, he was able to spend precious time with his children during what could have been turbulent years for them. He had the freedom to be there when his family needed him most. He had the opportunity to affect law as it pertains to children with disabilities. And he knew that, no matter what, Primerica would be ready for him when he was ready to build it big.

That, Scott, is exactly what Primerica’s all about. You’re a survivor. You’re a Primerican, and we salute you.

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