In the days after my son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with Autism I cried much of the time. One evening during that time period, I went into Jeremy’s room for his bedtime routine. He looked like an angel in his blue pajamas that intensified the blue of his eyes. My gaze lovingly traced his adorable face. “Honey, I’ve come in to pray for you before you go to sleep.”
Often in the past, he hadn’t understood what I said, so I didn’t expect a response. But as I knelt to pray, he got out of bed and knelt with me. That moment of connection he made into our world was extraordinary for him. It was a ray of hope for me. He stayed there as I prayed, and when I finished, he stood and climbed back into his bed. Tears ran down my face, as I gave my son a hug.
“Precious, I’m going to do everything in my power to rescue you from this disability. Nothing will stop me. There has to be hope somewhere. If there is, I will find it.” I whispered more to myself than to him. At two-years-old, Jeremy had lost his language, flapped his hands, and did not respond to his name. The autism material had said the disability was lifelong, incurable, and incapacitating. We had little hope for a future for our sweet, adorable son.
From that first day, we began a mission to fight for our son’s wholeness.
When my son was three and a half years old and tested two years behind his age level, we began an intense Behavioral Intervention therapy program for him. After much hard work and two years later, we received our miracle. The doctor declared our son no longer met the criteria for the diagnosis. He had changed before our eyes to a happy child who handled school and social situations independently. We have reaped wonderful benefits from our hard work, though, we did do follow-up therapy for another two years.
That was sixteen years ago. Currently, my son is a typical twenty-year-old college student, has friends, makes As and Bs in school, and has a wonderful sense of humor. There is hope for autistic children. My son is proof.
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Karen Michelle Graham
~ Announcing Hope Over Autism ~
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