Saturday, June 11, 2011

Climbing Mountains

"For every mountain, there is a miracle." 
Robert H. Schuller

It truly has been miraculous to watch Race the last two years since he has been with Ms. Suzanne.  I have seen miracles happen for him. 

A little over two years ago I was searching for answers.  I had been for a while, and I was getting desperate.  I was a scared mother.  I needed help, answers, so I could help Race.  I knew in my heart it was more than a speech delay. When Race was 4 years old I knew he had autism, so did John But was it really necessary to get a diagnosis done?  Was it fair to him to stick that label on him so young?  What if he grew out of it?  What if the label did more damage than good????  I was driven by fear.  I had taught in the school system, I saw the way kids treated the different kid; the weird kid.  And I was getting angry and tired of hearing everybody else's opinions on the matter; especially when they weren't asked for.  Prayer and fasting and diving into the scriptures; all out of fear, not faith.  Searching, crying out for help time and time again to my Father in Heaven; begging Him to hand over an answer...we all know it's not that easy.  He makes us work for it.

Then I stumbled across this quote:

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
~Eleanor Roosevelt~

I will never forget it.  I prayed for faith, and courage.  I prayed for the faith to replace the fear.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

I started to read books on Autism.  The fear would return and I'd pray for more faith.  The battle between fear and faith was daily. 

I remembered hearing about this great Preschool and Kindergarten from my running buddy Angie.  The Montessori Children's House.  Why not?  I called and asked if I could come observe. 

The place was amazing.  It was movement, it was choices, it was working on your own level.  It was left brain and right brained.  It was clean, it was a place of good old fashioned manners.  But mostly, it was a place where kids were taught to respect each other.  I knew I had found the place for Race.

After some begging, and assuring the school that they had what Race needed; after all, he only had a speech delay in his IEP. . .  Of course after meeting Race, Ms. Suzanne took him under her wing.  And that is where he's been ever since.  And it has been a good place.  At first she and I didn't talk about the A word.  Although I knew she knew; she is one of the smartest ladies I've ever met.  We worked around it, or tried to anyway. Later, we talked about this and how she was doing her own reading on Aspergers and Autism.  She was really working overtime to help him in every way she could.  I will be forever thankful for her love and determination.  We love you to the moon and back Ms. Suzanne!

When Race started at the Montessori  he really couldn't be understood.  His speech was really fragmented.  He couldn't answer questions appropriately or hold a simple conversation.  The exchange was too overwhelming.  He had melt-downs daily.  Race needed some interventions.  So, with the help of Ms. Suzanne, the support of my good Hubby, and the love and wisdom of my Mother (who is also a teacher), November 2009, 4 months into the school year, we went down to SAARC and got an Unofficial Diagnosis.  February of 2010 would bring the official after going down to visit Dr. Gentry.  Getting the diagnosis done has given us a direction.  It has given us support in therapies and ideas for playground interventions (because this is where life is the most difficult for Race).  It has given his teachers tools so they could work their magic. 
Ms. Eva the beautiful

Ms. Grace (she's been Race's Speech Therapist for 4 years now.  We love you Ms. Grace!)

One big thing that Race has learned since he has been at school (and it wasn't easy) is that he can do hard things.  His speech has come miles, he can hold a two way conversation, he is more aware of social boundaries and is getting better at controlling his melt-downs...and he is amazing in his academics.  He reads so well!  He can tell you where 150 countries are on the world map.  He knows something cool about every one of the 50 states and where they are.  He is borrowing back and loves it!  He's gained his confidence and developed friendships (to me this is the biggest of all).  He can do hard things.  Race, you can climb mountains!
(click to see better)
 I know Heavenly Father answers prayers. 
I know He works miracles in my life every day. 
 I know He guides our lives when we walk by faith. 

Thank you to EVERYONE at the school.  Thank you for your love.
Now, onto the next mountain!


Karalea-Karalea said...

Hey Teddy....nice to hear from you....and to know you are a fellow 'blog-stalker.' :) You always were sneaky. Kidding. Your family is wonderful, boys beautiful, husband handsome and you look happy. So lovely to read about your life.

S. and A. Millar said...

Hi friend. I miss you guys!! Love ya!

Teddy said...

testing, 1, 2, 3. Something's up with my comment page and I can't figure it out. Any ideas people?

Melanie said...

Teddy, he is so lucky to have you as his mom!