Becoming Remarkably Able: Walking the Path to Talents, Interests and Personal Growth


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I wrote and published, Becoming Remarkably Able: Walking the Path to Talents, Interests and Personal Growth in 2007. In 2016 I updated parts of it and turned it into a digital product. Becoming Remarkably Able was relevant then and today it is even just as relevant as a model to support youth social emotional adaptation for emotional health. There has been for a while a national youth employment crisis and today youth are facing COVID-19 and other emergency situations in our world. Youth need our attention and this book is timeless in the focus on our youth in transition and their well-being.

2016 update:

Walking the Path (WP) is a user-friendly, engaging emotional learning model for youth with ASD and developmentally disabilities (DD) who are in transition from adolescence to adulthood. With supports, Becoming Remarkably Able: Walking the Path to Talents, Interests, and Personal Growth (with 5 chapters 280 pages) can help prepare the student for employment/supported employment, leisure, and greater community adaptation.

As an educator, counselor, parent, or advocate,

Are you:

  • seeking a practical tools and practical informal assessments to help the young adult to access employment, attend college, participate in leisure/hobby, or have more independence?

  • as a special educator seeking helpful ways for parents to create a meaningful life, both emotionally and socially for their son/daughter as an adult?

  • concerned about the future of children diagnosed with autism or other severe disabilities and how they will find an employment niche or hobby?

If you are facing any of these issues or concerns, the Walking the Path will be helpful to you.

The information presented here is based upon these following premises:

Each adolescent or young adult is unique and can develop to his or her fullest potential.

Individuals with diverse levels of severity can benefit from the ideas and activities presented here to become more capable in all areas of living. Labels such as “high functioning” and “low functioning” are not the criteria to determine if the model is applicable. Walking the Path can help guide all individuals regardless of the disability severity. Labels serve no purpose here.

Every student or young adult has a viable gift, strength, and/or interest that may only need uncovering to blossom.

Supports or accommodations are necessary in order for a person to explore and identify strengths. Supports can open new and different opportunities and community settings.

Our youth never stop learning and growing. Therefore, making progress in skill development and personal growth beyond the teen years and well into adulthood is a not a myth, but can unfold into a new reality. Indeed, growth continues into adulthood.

“Independent living” refers to persons with a disability living at their highest capability and emotional levels regardless of the “supports” that assist them in participating in everyday activities: having a job or living in an apartment or house with an aide or independently. A person who reaches “independent living” may do so with few supports. Yet, a person can also live “independently” with all kinds of supports. Thus, “independent living” simply means never going it alone.

Youth see in themselves what we see in them. Each has the most basic right to enjoy continued growth, find happiness, and contribute something positive to the world. We are all essentially “advocates,” to include the person with ASD or DD, family members, professionals, and the community. As all of us create a larger vision of a student’s capabilities, the greater will be h-her willingness to act upon personal strengths and gifts that we acknowledge and support. In other words, a student with a disability will see how capable he can become through our eyes. My highest vision is that any person with any disability can deeply feel or say, “I belong; I matter; I am accepted.”

There isn’t anything in the Walking the Path model in this book that I haven’t questioned, tested, retested, studied, tried professionally and, equally important, initiated personally with my adult autistic son. The book is grounded in (a) quality-of-life research on people with disabilities within the past 23 years, (b) tools and strategies I learned through trial and error and approaches other students and families have used, and (c) findings from my own research of 15 young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who achieved independent living, employment, enjoyment and acceptance in activities in environments and people with whom they felt safe.

My Personal Experience, Having a son with autism:

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Theodore Roethke, the phrase describes the direction I chose to take 25 years ago. That “path” led me to solutions to help Trent to eventually live an adult life with meaning and purpose.

Trent was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. After asking many questions and searching for answers, I decided to move ahead with the conviction that he would reach a full, happy, and independent life as an adult, even with autism. Trent has been an accomplished award winning artist now for 20 years. The cover of this book comes from Trent’s painting, The Path.


*Use this product in your home, classroom, or counselor/therapist office.

*Make as many copies as you need for your class or caseload use.

*Refer others who would like to use this resource to:


*Share, copy or distribute this product to another teacher, counselor, classroom, educator, department, or school system.

*Post any of this product digitally for public view.

*Extract graphics or text for commercial use.

Thank you for respecting these boundaries.

My best,

Dr. Jackie Marquette


Author – writing about emotional literacy relating to youth self-advocacy, career

development, and well-being to adapt.

Independent Qualitative Researcher

Total Pages

280 pages

Answer Key


Teaching Duration