The Gang

The Gang
October 2008 Sweet Potatoe Harvest

About Me

I am a busy mommy of 6, seeking to be a loving, godly helpmeet to my husband and a biblical discipler to my children. God has blessed us with a child with Autism. May the lessons that the Lord is teaching me and our family be a blessing to you and yours!

My Favorite Books

  • Bible
  • Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl
  • Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
  • Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
This month if you watch the news you may find out that April is Autism Awareness month. Our family is blessed to have a wonderful almost 7 year old autistic boy. This month I will take some time to tell you about our autism journey, sharing many lessons that the Lord has taught us through this process. I will also share with you the many things we have learned that have been a huge help to Thomas. We have seen so much progress over the past almost 3 years since his diagnosis. If you have a friend or family member with Autism please feel free to share my blog address with them so that they might receive some encouragement through our story.

I have a friend who is also posting about Autism on her blog each day this month. I love how she is sharing and will probably follow a similar format. I hope you will be blessed by her thoughts, struggles, and lessons as well.

For today, I want to encourage you to see children through different eyes. Phil and I believe that a naughty child is one that needs to be trained up and biblically disciplined and discipled! Thomas changed a lot of that for us. Before he was diagnosed with Autism we thought we had failed as parents because he refused to listen, obey, look us in the eyes, and respond properly to his siblings. Anytime we saw a kid screaming in a store or being disobedient, what we thought we used to think.... wow.... that kid really needs a spanking. When Thomas was diagnosed with Autism we were relieved! There was a reason, besides sin, for his behavior and we needed to learn how to train him biblically but in a way that he could learn and understand. We prayed and thanked God for Thomas and asked forgiveness for all those other families we had judged.

Now when I go shopping I still see naughty children that need loving discipline but there are also many times I notice children on the Autism Spectrum, and can pray for that mom that she will have the strength to make it through her shopping that day! And that she will find hope in Christ, He has been our constant strength and power as we travel through the journey of Autism.

So I challenge you, when you see a parent struggling with a child in the store or a child who is 5 or 6 with a pacifier, or even one that seems to be screaming uncontrollably and flapping their hands, rolling their eyes, etc.... that child may be autistic and the mother ready to cry. Pray for that mom and pray for that child and reach out in a loving way if you have the courage. I know that when people would say things to me like, "Oh let me get that for you," while Thomas was screaming and I was trying to haul him back into the cart while trying to grab the katsup. I could smile through the tears and say, "thank you, my son has autism and struggles with shopping sometimes." Then usually I'd quickly finish my shopping dreading the check out and get to the van and cry!

Now Thomas enjoys shopping even though he is still socially not appropriate and talks to everyone or yells things at the top of his lungs as we go through the store, it isn't something I dread. I can now use shopping as a way to talk with him about what he is seeing since autistic kids really don't notice things around them like typical kids. It makes me smile when Thomas says "Look mommy, there are grapes, can I have the grapes please?" This from a child who didn't talk until he was 4 1/2.

If you really want to reach out to a family with Autism in your church offer to sit with that child every Sunday in Sunday school or Junior church. Ask the parents how to do this the most effectively and minister to that child each week. About 2 years ago we had a family in our church who had a special needs son who was 20. She saw me struggling, missing many services because Thomas just couldn't handle being in a classroom with other kids . She volunteered to be with Thomas each Sunday school and was willing to show him tough love while sometimes being hit and bit by Thomas. Ok.... before you are totally appalled I'll talk more about hitting, biting, kicking and other aggressive behaviors and autism in another post. My point is, I was able to go to Sunday School again and be blessed by the teaching and preaching of the Word.

I'll look forward to sharing more each day. I hope you will be blessed by my rambling as I walk down our Autism Memory Lane and share about Thomas's current abilities.


Karis said...

Just wanted to let you know that I was blessed by what you called "rambling." I only know one child who has autism, and I don't really know him/ I haven't been around him since we are not at church due to deputation. This has given me insight.