People with differing abilities are waiting to help us

The story of John's Crazy Socks

The AbleLight Empowerment Blog focuses on helping self-advocates and parents navigate the challenges faced by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Today we flip the script and look at life from a different perspective.

Have you heard of John’s Crazy Socks? John sells crazy, colorful, themed socks for people of all ages, genders and abilities. However, if you ask John, he’s really selling happiness. He delivers local orders in person, hosts a weekly online dance party, sends birthday wishes to all who register and adds candy to every order.

His father has an interesting perspective we should all think about.

“People with differing abilities are not waiting for us to help them as much as they are waiting to help us, to show us what’s possible,” said Mark Cronin, John’s business partner, “To help us live our best lives, to help our communities and our businesses. We have to learn to let them do that.”

In October, in honor of National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, we shared resources, success stories and advice to promote employment for people with I/DD. At the same time Mark and John Cronin shared the origin story behind John’s Crazy Socks at TEDx Talks Farmingdale.

Maybe we focus on working together to help one another. In some cases, we may realize that while we thought we were helping, our loved ones, friends, neighbors, coworkers, students and others with I/DD, they were, in fact, helping us.

“The son I thought I had to help was lifting me up.” Watch the John’s Crazy Socks TEDx origin story below.