Friday, July 1, 2011

Encouragement for Aspies

Today I'm going to change gears a bit to share a blog that is sure to bless you.  Caleb joined our homeschool co-op the same year our family did and he and my son, Ryan, have been friends since 8th grade.  They both just completed their freshman year of college.  

Caleb has Asperger's syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder) and shares some of his struggles and triumphs in his blog. In his most recent entry, he shares how difficult it was -agonizing at times -  for him to complete assignments throughout middle school and high school and how, by God's grace and with the help of his family and teachers, he graduated from high school and completed his freshman year at Kent State University with a shiny 3.89 GPA! 

[Caleb, if you're reading this, I don't remember you ever missing assignments in my history class!]

If you have a child or family member with Asperger's or know someone who is affected by it, you will find encouragement in Caleb's blog. He writes:

"Throughout most of my academic career, I almost always found myself relying on the grace of luckily-placed people, and the incredible patience of my teachers and parents. It is by nothing less than God’s grace that I even managed to graduate high school. This is a humbling memory for me, and makes me realize that I really am powerless without God’s intervention.
"A year later, I have finished my first year at Kent with a 3.89 GPA, and have earned respect from a lot of my classmPe claim came from my own hard work and effort, I owe to my creator. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Caleb has a wonderful family, and his struggles were shared by all of them. I imagine if they had been able to read this blog post by 20-year-old Caleb when he was 10-years-old and things didn't look so rosy, it would have brought incredible encouragement to their hearts!

If you have a child with a disability or one who is a little different than what the world considers "normal," take heart! God knows and loves your child even more than you do.  Your first priority is to teach your children what Caleb's parents did: trust in the Lord.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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