THANK YOU for the kind comments and prayers as our family sought wisdom for our daughter, Joy’s, education. Last week I shared my heart about my concern for the dramatic regression we noticed once she began Special Needs Preschool.
Thus began our journey in bathing this situation in prayer for wisdom and exploring our options for her education. One step on our journey was seeking God’s Word for His promises about wisdom. I took comfort in knowing that He will provide wisdom as we need it and when He is ready to reveal His path to me. I knew that God was in control and would put her on the exact plan of education where she would learn best.
Looking at the facts about my girl and how she learned, I knew the following:
1. She learns best when taught individually with lots of repetition of new skills.
2. She is capable of learning, but we are not sure to what extent .
3. She is stubborn and needs constant reinforcement to stay on task and to be motivated to try new skills.
That led me to explore ABA therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, in depth. I shared last week how this therapy is so very expensive yet the constant reinforcement for new skills and individualized instruction is exactly what Joy needs.
In talking with her private Speech Therapist, I knew that I was not crazy for noticing the regression. The testing that the therapist completed on Joy in May was drastically different from when she entered private speech with her in the fall of 2013.
As Joy’s mom and a teacher myself, I could not let this large regression go without addressing the issues and knew that if she would ever make progress, change would have to be made.
And a big change it is.
After much prayer, searching God’s Word and receiving wise counsel from other therapists, I was led to the rough outline of an educational plan that I felt we should start in the fall, but I was hesitant. I was hesitant because of selfish reasons. This change requires much sacrifice from me and will completely turn my life upside down, even though it will hopefully help her make progress. That sounds awful, but I wanted to be REALLY sure this was the best path for us before I turned our lives upside down.
Last Sunday in church, I felt that God had a message just for me. The sermon was on Abraham and how God called him to lead a life of faith in the Lord and to follow God to the Promise Land in faith. He was also called to blindly trust God’s promise to make him a father of nations after His wife, Sarah, was barren and past child bearing years.
Like Abraham, God is calling me and our family to take a leap of faith, and to cling to Him like in Psalm 63:8. We are following Him and His direction alone as we embark on this great adventure.
In the fall, we will be taking Joy out of her public school and I will administer her ABA therapy at home. As you read this, I am being trained by a top Autism facility here in the South to set up and administer an ABA program just for her.
Our sweet Bubs, almost two and a half, will be going to preschool Monday, Wednesday and Friday so I can work quietly and intensely with Joy at home. On Tuesday and Thursday, while I work part-time, Joy will be attending her therapies, social skills and ABA through a new Autism center in our area.
Honestly, I am terrified. Even though I am a certified Special Education Teacher and will be trained in ABA, I am still nervous that I will not do a good enough job and that she will make little progress. I am terrified that I will be overwhelmed at the responsibilities on my plate and not be able to do justice the jobs I have before me. I am terrified of the expenses that will accumulate with private therapies and learning centers.
But I know God has led me here, to this foreign land, and once again I trust Him. Once again I look to Him for guidance, my source of strength and peace. Once again I claim that He is faithful and will cling to Him with everything I have.
While this means a new life, a new routine and schedule, I believe that we are making the best decision possible for our Joy. Getting her help so that she can make as much progress as possible is our top priority, regardless of the sacrifice.
Thank you Lord, for wisdom given and a new path paved with your strength!